Raschka, Chris. 2013. EVERYONE CAN LEARN TO RIDE A BICYCLE. NY; Schwartz & Wade. ISBN9780375870071 [Suggested Grade Levels PK – 2]
To the uninitiated, riding a bike may not seem easy, but Chris Raschka will calm even the most apprehensive would-be cyclist with this instructive picture book. The “how to” begins with selecting the perfect bike for you and slowly outlines a process: watch everyone ride, give it a try, tweak the training wheels, lose the training wheels, try some more, and again, and again, and again. The text and Raschka’s signature watercolor and ink illustrations recount the process of a father teaching a daughter to ride. She wears an oversized helmet throughout and his confident guidance never waivers. There are falls: “Oh dear” and “Oops.” There are encouraging words: “Don’t give up” and “You’ll get it.” And finally, after many courageous attempts, there is celebration: “by luck, grace, and determination, you are riding a bicycle! (And now you’ll never forget how.)
This simple book highlights a meaningful experience for children. Those who’ve mastered it will enjoy reliving their accomplishment. Those ready to learn will be encouraged by this optimistic road map for acquiring an exciting new skill.
Young children may enjoy talking about newly acquired skills. Help them identify things they have mastered recently, like tying shoes, adding, or writing names. Remind them that learning new things takes patience and hard work. Then ask them to talk about skills they may be practicing now.
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By Suzy Parchman