The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd


The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd, Candlewick Press, 9781536217414 (PB), 9781536200317 (HC), 2021

Format: Paperback

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? This Australian import, winner of The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, is a fun romp through a village on the edge of the no-go desert. The narrator enjoys riding around on her bike made with her brothers of repurposed parts that ‘winketty wonks’ when they speed through the hills and fields. It reminds us that imagination and child-like creativity can happen anywhere and that the universal desire for a bicycle can be realized even with the greatest of socio-economic constraints. The acrylic on recycled cardboard illustrations provide a perfect and authentic backdrop – another reminder that materials have additional life in them beyond their intended purpose. The end pages detail the author and illustrator’s inspiration for this award-winning work.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a fun read-aloud for early elementary students and perfect fodder for a discussion about prized possessions, wants vs. needs, and the importance of creatively reusing and recycling.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA

Date of review: 5/23/21

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