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

Thursday 2 March 2017

Review: The Bike Ride

Here is another delightful book with Maudie and Bear, little and big, close friends, totally devoted to each other.

Maudie decides she needs some exercise. She suggests to Bear that they go for a bike ride. But it’s not as simple as just getting up and going.

Maudie needs first to find her sunglasses, so Bear waits. Then she needs to find their hats. Bear goes out to get the bike ready. Maudie can’t leave without her scarf, or her sunscreen, or her bug spray.

In the meantime, patient Bear waits outside with his hat on, in the company of two magpies, while Maudie searches for all the necessary things that she must have before she sets out.

Themes of friendship, devotion, patience and kindness float through each scene.

This divinely illustrated board book, ideal for little hands, comes to life with the immensely talented Freya Blackwood’s illustrations. She not only interprets the text, but builds an entire structure of detail and atmosphere to surround the two characters.

This is what I love about picture books; that I can discover the ‘what else’ that is happening in the story. I feel awe at the illustrator’s ability to create a whole backstory for the text. Personal facts about the characters are made visible to us through the intricate details presented as props behind the words. We feel the unspoken sense of adventure and togetherness the two share. All this reveals the illustrator’s insight to see beyond the text with an extended view, and the ability  to present it so convincingly to the reader.

Soft pastel shades convey a sense of calm and harmony between little Maudie and huge Bear. The layout is perfect. Limited text allows the illustrations do the talking. Simply perfect!
Title: A Maudie and Bear Story: The Bike Ride
Author: Jan Ormerod
Illustrator: Freya Blackwood
Publisher: Little Hare, $14.99
Publication Date: November 2016
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760128982
For ages: 1+
Type: Picture Book