The Roller Coaster Ride – written and illustrated by David Broadbent

The Roller Coaster Ride written and illustrated by David Broadbent. Child’s Play, 2021. 9781786285614

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? Vincent is excited about going to an amusement park with his grandma. As they ride the bus there, he imagines riding the roller coaster, at times exaggerating some of the features, for example, imagining it going into outer space. The background colors and patterns in the illustrations of his imagination are different to signify the change. Vincent is disappointed when they arrive to find the amusement park closed, but has fun anyway, getting ice cream and playing in the park. He models flexible thinking so his day isn’t ruined by a change he can’t control. I especially loved the illustrations, which showed a unique mix of a city and environmentalism. As they ride an electric bus, they travel past wetlands and a wildlife reserve, and they see lots of animals, bikers, and windmills. The side characters show a diversity of skin colors, families, and abilities.

Anything you did not like about the book. Despite the positive message and ending, it does seem unrealistic that a kid who was so excited about riding on a roller coaster at an amusement park would be satisfied with ice cream and a park playground.

To whom would you recommend this book? This could be used as a model for social-emotional learning around flexible thinking and adapting to changes. I would also recommend it to kids who like Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee. 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: July 14, 2021

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