Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Review: The Red Bicycle

Publish April 2, 2015

In The Red Bicycle, Jude Isabella introduces readers to an ordinary bicycle that, over time, becomes something truly extraordinary because of one childs generosity.

Like many children, Leo dreams of owning a bike. He mows lawns and shovels snow, diligently saving his money until he can make the red bike in the shop window his very own. Once his, Leo rides it every day until his legs grow too long to fit under the handlebars. He needs a new, bigger bike, but what should he do with his old red one? Leo wants to give it to someone who will love it as much as he does, but everyone he knows already has a bike. Luckily, the bike shop owner has an idea. Why doesnt Leo donate his bike, so it can go to someone who really needs it?

Readers follow Leos red bicycle as it travels to Burkino Faso, Africa with the help of a local organization. First it goes to Alisettas small village and later to Haridatas medical clinic, illustrating just how much a single bicycle can change lives. Isabellas text is enhanced by Simone Shins digitally composed illustrations, which have the textural effect of crayon drawings, making them appealing and accessible.

Each page contains enough information to satisfy older readers, as well as a single line in large print for beginning readers, giving the book wide appeal. A timely call to action, The Red Bicycle includes ways that kids can become involved in bicycle donation programs as well as springboard ideas for teachers.

The Red Bicycle

Jude Isabella
Illustration EN: Simone Shin
Kids Can Press
ISBN 13: 978-1-77138-023-2

Penny Draper
Penny Draper Penny Draper lives in Victoria, British Columbia. She is the author of the award-winning “Disaster Strikes!” series, historical fiction that places young protagonists at the centre of real Canadian disasters.

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