Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The patchwork bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke and Van T Rudd

I found learning to ride a bike was very difficult.  I know this was because I am so uncoordinated. Huge thanks to my patient dad who spent hours 'holding on' while I wobbled down a traffic-free and straight wide road near our house. My bike was brand new unlike this bike made from bits and pieces of found materials.  Patchwork seems to be the perfect name.  Riding this bike is such a joy for these children who ride under the stretching-out sky and live near the no-go desert.

  • Their bike can shicketty shake over sandhills.
  • The wood-cut wheels winketty wonk through fields.
  • It can bumpetty bump through the village.

It will be fun to act all this out with our younger children riding our imaginary bikes around the library landscape.  With older children we will have discussions about poverty, recycling, wealth, material possessions, drought and developing nations.

The Patchwork Bike has been short listed for our CBCA 2017 awards.

The illustrations in this book have been painted on cardboard and then photographed.  I know the children will think they can actually feel the corrugated bumps.  I especially like the paint smudges on the end papers - they give a sense of movement, racing those bikes as fast as they can go.

The setting for this book is gently revealed.

  • The narrator lives in a village.
  • His home has mud walls.
  • There is just one tree in the no-go desert.
  • His mum looks like this :

It will be a joy this term to read books about bikes and bike riding. We have a good collection and I have this little bike made in Africa and sold at a Oxfam shops.  It is about 10cm long.

You can see more books about bicycles on this Pinterest Collection made by my friend from Kinderbookswitheverything.

If I was reading The Patchwork bike with a senior class or even a High School group we might also explore The Green Bicycle by Haifaa Al Mansour.  With a younger group you might dip into the series about the No. 1 Car spotter by Atinuke and compare the setting.  With all classes we will also look at Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams along with this video.

You can read more about the author in this article from The Australian newspaper.  Van T Rudd is a street artist - I wonder how he came to illustrate this book?  His web site would be good to explore with a High School class and yes he is related to our former PM Kevin Rudd.

Take a look at these reviews :

Kids Book Review
The Patchwork Bike is a keeper, not only for the sheer joy of story but also for the conversations it will trigger: about life in Africa, the irrepressible joy of children despite their lack of commercial possessions and the satisfaction of recycling.

Children's Books Daley
 the resolution of the printing is so sharp that after multiple readings I still run my fingers over the paint and corrugated card, sure that I’ll feel the texture.

Here are some of the books we will explore alongside The Patchwork Bike.

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