The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett Book Review

 The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett
Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
Release Date: April 29, 2014

A little girl sees a shiny new bicycle in a shop window. Despite digging through the couch cushions and emptying her piggy bank, she is a bit short and so she seeks out ways to make money. No one seems interested, that is until a kindly old woman agrees. Together, they work through the seasons, forming a friendship. Finally, as the weather turns warm again, the little girl has enough money to buy her bike, but when she arrives at the store, it is gone. Sold. Then, in an incredible act of selflessness the little girl buys her little brother (who has been tagging along all this time) a tricycle. When she returns home, she discovers who the bike was sold to--her neighbor and friend--who gives the bike to the little girl.

I absolutely love wordless picture books. They are incredible in how much they can convey through expression and art. Although there is an obvious message here and not everyone should expect their neighbor to buy them a bike, I think what really impressed me was the character of the little girl. She works hard, saves her money, has a clear goal, and in the end is extremely generous. She spends her mother on her brother not expecting anything in return and delighting in the giving of the gift. I loved it.

It is amazing how much emotion I felt throughout the story too. I was rooting for the little girl. As she rooted through the couch, I laughed. As she knocked on neighbors doors, I sympathized. When she found that bike was sold, I audibly exclaimed, "Oh no." Her gift to her brother made me tear up a bit, and then more so when she returned home. Perfect.