What do you get when you smash your bike? A new friend.
Maurice sells lemonade from a cart attached to his yellow bike. Lotta has a red bike with a basket that holds sticks she collects and then gives away. Both travel along similar pathways daily yet never meet…until a stick becomes entangled in one of Maurice’s spokes, propelling him into a tree. Meanwhile, Lotta’s bike skids on some lemon rinds, causing her to crash, too. They’re unharmed, but their bikes are ruined and occupations suffer. When Maurice and Lotta read a sign advertising bikes for sale, each visits Sid’s repair shop. Hurray! Sid has fashioned a tandem bike, developed from the broken remains. He has also created a new friendship, as Maurice and Lotta become the owners/riders of a yellow-and-red lemonade-and–stick-collecting bicycle built for two. In the end, life has handed out lemons, and they’ve never tasted sweeter. This is a sweet, quiet, different take on the familiar new-friendship trope. The quirky acrylic illustrations are appealing; characters are expressive. Chipmunk Maurice has enormous black eyes and has vivid red fur. Porcupine Lotta is pale yellow. They and various other animal characters wear typical kids’ attire. Visual learners will enjoy traversing the routes taken by the main characters on the simply drawn maps printed on the front and back endpapers.
The wheels on the bikes go round…and readers will meet endearing new pals. (Picture book. 3-6)