The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella

 

The Red Bicycle follows the true story of one donated, recycled, and re-purposed bicycle, Big Red, as it travels from a small town in the United States to rural Burkina Faso in West Africa. Depending on where they live, each owner has a different use (or need) for the bicycle.

In a sweet, child-friendly way, The Red Bicycle shows children how an item they use for fun can be essential — sometimes even life-saving — to people in other parts of the world. C recently heard about bicycle ambulances for the first time, so she was excited to read more about that here.

I appreciate so much that the story did not come full circle at the end. That is, the boy who originally donated his bicycle doesn’t see it again or find out what happened to it. It gives children a way to imagine where their donated belongings go and how they might be used without an additional expectation that they’ll be reunited later on, or hear back from those who receive the items. It’s realistic, and puts the focus is on recognizing a need and simply giving.

We really enjoyed this story and appreciated the additional educational resources and “take action” ideas.