'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Review: Ride, Ricardo, Ride!

So simple, so understated, so powerful — this is an incredibly moving story about war and its affect on ordinary people.

Ricardo is a young boy who loves nothing more than riding his bike through the local village. As he rides, his father claps his hands and says, 'Ride, Ricardo, ride!' Life is simple and happy, but then one day the 'shadows' come. (And Shane Devries' stunning illustrations depict the shadows of the marching soldiers.)

Now Ricardo's world grows dark. The shadows are everywhere. Together with his father, he dismantles his precious bike and hides it away, as otherwise the shadows will take it.

Time passes. Then one night, Ricardo's father is lost to the shadows too. Ricardo's world is destroyed.

But at last, the shadows fade. Light returns to the village. And Ricardo finds his bike … and hope.

I love the way so much is conveyed in this book without actually being written on the page. The wonderful illustrations tease out layers and layers of meaning from Phil Cummings' words, making this a glorious partnership of text and image. This is not a picture book for those of preschool age, but it is an excellent introduction to the topic of war for younger primary kids.

Title: Ride, Ricardo, Ride!
Author: Phil Cummings
Illustrator: Shane Devries
Publisher: Omnibus, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: March 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781742990736
For ages: 6+
Type: Picture Book