A young girl says goodbye to her tricycle and learns to ride a two-wheeler in this rather misleading debut from Boyd.
Togged out in a pink helmet and riding an ultra-cool red bike complete with wicker basket, handlebar streamers and a seat with a backrest, this little girl is ready to go. “Climb the seat. / Twist the bars. / Helmet’s on. / Check for cars. // Pedal’s up. / Dad’s in view. / Ready, start—coming through!” The rollicking rhythms match the bounce of a bike ride, while the rhymes are spot-on. But unfortunately, the text glosses over reality and matches the experience of only a tiny minority of children. Dad does not accompany her, just sees her off. There are no crashes, no skinned knees, no wobbles and no walking the bike up the long, steep hill. From the artwork, it appears that she is riding in a brick-pathed park with nary a car in sight, and based on the reactions of the people she passes, she is almost out of control. Griffo’s digital illustrations are a textural delight if a representational miss. The animals and much of the clothing have fabric-like patterns, while his beautiful blustery fall day is perfect for bike riding.Give this one a pass in favor of a book that doesn’t give kids a false sense of confidence that will be severely scratched (along with some knees) with their first real exposure to a two-wheeler. (Picture book. 4-7)