Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Red Bicycle - a bookwrap

Old Red Bicycle

What have you seen,
Old Red Bicycle?
And what roads have you crossed,
Old Red Bicycle?
Have you seen the man begging in Oxford?
Did you pass the tramp dining with Royals?
Were you rode down the roads,
That were forever winding?
Did you go up the mountains,
That were never ending?
Have you been to the cliffs,
That the broken would jump from?
Have you been to the garden’s,
Rich in life’s beauty?

What did we see,
Old Red Bicycle,
And where did we go,
Old Red Bicycle?
We saw the eyes of an angel,
Weep in salvation,
We heard the voices of silence,
Singing in unison,
We saw the smile of a child,
On the face of a Grandpa,
We met a young woman,
Frail and in love,
We met an old man,
Strong and alone

So where did we go,
Old Red Bicycle?
And where did we reach,
Old Red Bicycle?
We went to the end of,
A world that was expanding,
We spoke to the people,
Who had no voices,
We reached the ocean,
That was lacking in water,
We went to a place,
That no one returns from,
And we embraced the exile,
Lost in his homeland.

Unwrapping today's book...

Authored by Jude Isabella

Illustrated by Simone Shin

Ages 8-10

Unwrapping some illustrations for you...

About the book...

We in the Western world are so blessed to take something like owning our very own bicycle for granted.  We often do not have to work hard, like Leo in our book today, to earn the money to purchase a bike. Most kids feel they are entitled to a brand new bike and are just given one as a gift to enjoy.  

Leo works very hard mowing lawns, raking leaves, shovelling snow and all the money he earns he takes to the bank because he is saving up to buy a new red bicycle, one he has had his eye on for two years.  Finally his dream comes true and he has enough money to pedal it proudly because it truly belongs to him.  Leo happily rides it everywhere - to school, the swimming pool and soccer practice. 

Sadly, as kids do, Leo grows up and outgrows his beloved bike. Responsibly he seeks out a charitable organization where he can donate his bicycle so the bike can be a blessing to others.

 His red bicycle ends up in Africa and a little girl named Anisette claims it for her own.  She uses the coveted bike to haul goods to market and to watch her family's sorghum field.  But the bike succumbs to an unfortunate accident leaving Anisette sad.  Is that the end of the red bikes usefulness or can it be restored and continue on its journey to bring hope and healing to others?  

In many parts of the world bikes are used as a  "beast of burden", carrying huge loads of produce to and from marketplaces. They are used for visiting people in remote villages where vehicles do not have access because of the rough terrain.  

The message of the story is positive, hopeful and one child can reach out and unselfishly make a difference and change lives across the world.  I highly, highly recommend this book.  After reading it may many other "Leo's" step forward and donate their bikes for humanitarian purposes and know in their hearts that their contribution is so needed and valued by those less fortunate.  

About the author...

Jude Isabella is a science writer based in Victoria, British Columbia.  For 12 years, she was the managing editor YES Mag, Canada's science magazine for kids.  She is the author of Chitchat and Fantastic Feats and Failures, which won the American Institute of Physics Award for writing for children.  

About the illustrator...

Simone Shin is an award-winning editorial and children's book illustrator living in San Francisco Bay Area.  Her digitally composed illustrations are inspired by her early silkscreened artwork and incorporate elements of real acyclic and silkscreened textures.  

Read on and read always!

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