I fell in love with this book the moment I picked it up at the Random House booth at NCTE and eagerly anticipated snatching it on Sunday. Imagine my excitement as I waited til noon for the display books to go on sale and asked if the picture book ARC's were available too. It's published by Schwartz and Wade Books, a division of Random House and a big shout out to them for giving teachers a sneak peak to the best new books coming out on the market!
This book tugged at my heart the moment I skimmed it. It tugged at my teaching heart because over many years as a primary teacher I have read many personal narratives about learning to ride a bicycle. It tugged at my parenting heart as I remembered own girls work with determination, effort, and willingness to try this milestone in life. It tugged at my own bike riding heart and remembering my own spill because my dad forgot to tell me my new bike required backwards pedaling to stop.
This book is a great, perfect how to mentor text! It all begins by choosing the perfect bike for you. I loved the next step which involves watching others. We all need models when we are learning something new. The next step is to raise the training wheels to feel off balanced and then to take them off. This little girl falls off a couple of times. The best part of the story is the advice Chris Raschka gives to bike riders; "Don't give up., You'll get it., ...try again., and you'll never forget how." Chris shares with the reader bike riding takes determination. What a perfect example for understanding determination.
The watercolor illustrations are precious. I think it's a combination of the warm tones Chris used, the white background which makes the colors pop more, and the fact the little girl is always wearing her two tone blue striped bike helmet. Look for this book in April 2013.