Published by: Harper Collins Publishers Australia Pty Ltd in 2011
Ages: 3 + years
Theme: the symbol of a bicycle, what it can represent in the world today
Opening Lines: One of the most important days of my life was when I learned to ride a bicycle – Michael Palin.
Synopsis: From the back of the book:- In a perfect world, this book would not exist. But we do not live in a perfect world. Even if we all learn to live in peace, there will still be millions of people who need our help. The Bicycle is collaboration between Colin Thompson and fourteen internationally acclaimed artists. By buying this book, you are helping those who cannot help themselves.
Why I like this: Within the first couple of pages of this book one comes across a moving note from Colin Thompson the author/producer of this book and a note from Suzanne Dvorak CEO of the Save the Children Org. Colin tells of his visit in 2008 with Save the Children to Cambodia, and learned that some children live in such remote areas that they never learn to read and write because they have no transport and too far to walk. Save the Children gave them each bicycles so they could go to school and learn to become anything they wanted to be. This is what inspired Colin to put together this book, a compilation of bicycle artworks by children’s book artists including Freya Blackwood, Quentin Blake, Shaun Tan and Sarah Davis sprinkled with quotes from famous people including children from Cambodia, regarding their bicycle as their “best friend.” Colin realised that the simple gift of a bicycle showed how much we have and how little it can take to change the world. Like the kids in Cambodia a bicycle is the key to their greatest dreams. Suzanne tops off this inspiring and creative project with a note on the wonderful work Save the Children are doing bringing the magic of childhood to children less fortunate. There are also illustrator notes in the back, and not all pages have quotes on the full-page lavish illustrations donated free. A very thought-provoking book that leaves room for interpretation and discussion with children and adults, as well as a lump in your throat. Royalties from the sale of this book are donated to Save the Children.
Resources/Findings: Quentin Blake had also collaborated with Colin in illustrating another book for Save the Children called Dust. His best known work is for Ronald Dahl. Here is his website.. http://www.quentinblake.com/
Also some you tube links of Quentin Blake…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CH6cCvW100
And another of Quentin Blake…. Story on a page… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wo2Dn3gdK4
Colin Thompson talks about the book The Bicycle… http://www.readings.com.au/news/the-story-of-my-book-colin-thompson-on-the-bicycle
Sarah Davis beautiful contribution to the book…. http://sarah-davis.org/soundsspooky-2/
Projects children could start at school such as sponsoring a child. There are also projects children could make such as knitting a blanket or fundraising with stalls to raise funds for the Save the Children.
I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view. So pop over and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.