In a perfect world, this book would not exist. But we do not live in a perfect world. Even if we all learn to live in peace, there will still be millions of people who need our help.
This is a picture book with a difference – and what a wonderful difference it is. Rather than containing a storyline, it contains several stories, each rendered in a double page spread, with or without a quote , all around the theme of the bicycle. Created as an inspirational fundraiser for the Save the Children fund, the book explores all aspects of the magic of the bicycle, chosen as the central motif because it symbolises fun and adventure for children.
Contributing artists, including Quentin Blake, Shaun Tan and Freya Blackwood have each created a double page spread, each in their own style. Some are whimsical , such as David Miller’s wonderful paper sculpture of an elephant riding a unicycle, others more serious, such as Jan Bowman’s night scene where two cyclists ride through the darkened streets of London, their bike lights illuminating their way. Some have no words, others a quote from literature or famous figures, and others quotes from children whose lives have been made better through the donation of bicycles, such as 14 year old Dany from Cambodia who says: I promise to study harder and take good care of my bicycle as my best friend. We will go to the upper grade together.
Introductory notes from author/illustrator Colin Thompson and from Suzanne Dvorak, CEP of Save the Children Australia explain the concept of the book and the important work that the fund does.
The Bicycle is a celebration of the bicycle, and of the wonderful impact of acts of charity.
The Bicycle, by Colin Thompson
ABC Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, 2011
This book can be purchased online from Fishpond.