The Picture Book Buzz

Bikes For Sale - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

April 12, 2019

With the "Makers Movement," DIY and reclamation projects have experienced a surge in popularity. Add that to the ongoing environmental crisis and things our grandparents did out of necessity (canning, gardening, reusing/re-purposing) are becoming a trend. More people are interested in refurbishing items or creating new items from worn out things, becoming inventors, rather than merely consumers.

 

Carter Higgins newest book developed from a sign she saw posted on a telephone pole - "Bikes For Sale - all found discarded and refurbished." She started imagining what had happened to these bikes and what a refurbished bike might look like. Bikes For Sale beautifully combines these musings and Zachariah OHora's delightful imagination. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bikes For Sale

 

Author: Carter Higgins

 

Illustrator: Zachariah OHora

 

Publisher: Chronicle Books (2019)

 

Ages: 5-6 years

 

Fiction

 

Themes:

Friendship, reusing things, and coincidence.

 

Synopsis:

Maurice rides his bike to his shop every day. Lotta rides her bike to collect sticks every day. Both go about their separate routines, unaware of the friendship that awaits them just a few blocks away. But what happens when a branch and a lemon peel get in the way? This delightful falling-in-like story from acclaimed picture book creators Carter Higgins and Zachariah OHora celebrates the power of coincidence to lead us to the friends we're meant to meet all along.

 

Opening Lines:

They were new once.

And then, they weren't.

 

This one belonged to Maurice.

 

Why I Like the Book:

The opening line (which is also a refrain in the middle and the closing line), printed in white on a teal background, holds so much potential and meaning. It encompasses both the character's bikes and a blossoming friendship.  

Text © Carter Higgins, 2019. Image © Zachariah OHora, 2019.

Maurice rides through town on his lemonade bike delivering "squeezy drops of sunshine," until a stick causes a "smashup."

Text © Carter Higgins, 2019. Image © Zachariah OHora, 2019.

 

While at the same time, though never meeting, Lotta rides through town on her bike "chomper" handing out free sticks to everyone, until things that looked like petals (actually lemon peels) caused a crash.

Text © Carter Higgins, 2019. Image © Zachariah OHora, 2019.

 

They both abandon their bikes and try to carry on, but things just aren't the same. Charmingly lyrical, this book is fun to read and challenges the reader to reexamine gut reactions to things that seem broken. I love the cool "cart bike" that Sid uses to collect the damaged, rejected bicycles. Zachariah's bike creations are so inventive. And the lively, bold illustrations contain a number of secondary stories - be sure to check out the poor dog walker.

 

In the end, a chance meeting (or a "meet cute") at a bike shop results in a series of new experiences, adventures, and a budding friendship. This book is both touching and thought provoking, encouraging an openness to new friendships and uses for old or used things. A great book to foster creativity and imagination. 

 

Resources:

- find stray or lost pieces of games and make up a new game with them;

- make a necklace, game, photo frame, or something else from mismatched buttons or beads;

- create a memory game by putting stickers on one side of clean frozen juice lids or bottle lids;

- take a something you might throw out (paper towel roll, empty Kleenex box or egg container, or a broken toy) and make something new (a musical instrument, maybe) from it ; or

- print and play the paper character and map kit provided by Carter Higgins (https://carterhiggins.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/bikes-for-sale_-activity-kit.pdf).

 

If you missed Carter Higgins interview on Monday, find it (here). 

 

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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