Where can I ride my trike? by Dawn Pickering

 

where can I ride my trike cover                                                                                                                            

It is still relatively unusual to find a children’s picture book where people with disabilities are the main protagonists in a story. This very accessible self- published picture book introduces us to seven year old Natalie and three other characters who enjoying cycling together using hired adapted trikes. The back cover information tells us that Natalie and Timothy have Cerebral Palsy, and although it is not explicitly stated in the text, it is clear from the illustrations that Natalie and Timothy use walking aids when not on their trikes. I met the author, Dawn Pickering, currently a lecturer at Cardiff University, at an excellent disability studies conference There is no them at University of the West of England. Her professional background is as a physiotherapist and she was inspired to write this book because of her research for the organisation ‘Pedal power’ http://www.cardiffpedalpower.org/?page_id=11 which looks at the positive effects of adapted cycling for children with CP.

As the children cycle with older family members (all of course wearing cycling helmets), they encounter various people, horses, swans, daffodils and dogs. Along the way they stop to enjoy an ice cream and then, having returned the trikes they all speculate about where they might be able to ride them in the future including at the Paralympics and the Olympics. Not the most exciting of plots but one that presents an ordinary day out with family and friends doing everyday things.

The narrative is clear and the minimal text is conveyed using different colours and font in a variety of sizes to indicate some key words and break up the page in an attractive way. The very detailed illustrations by the author’s daughter Hannah Pickering http://www.creativewriterphotographer.com/index.html are distinctive in style and vividly coloured. The heavy black lines are particularly effective and remind me of a stained glass window effect. The contrasting texture in the soft depiction of the trees and cloudy sky works very well.

Books like this are important because they include people with disabilities as part of the ‘normal’ landscape. However it is not a book about disability and I would thoroughly recommend it to be used with young children as a way of talking about cycling and what they enjoy doing with family and friends. In their discussion they might just happen to notice the wheelchair and the walking frame but it doesn’t really matter. The final page invites the reader to speculate about where to they might like to ride a trike. This is a positive closing statement from the group that includes at least two individuals with disabilities to travel with them into the world of possibility. The overall message seems to be that there are no barriers to enjoying a trike ride, whether in reality or the imagination.

If you interested in buying the book please contact Dawn direct at dawnpickering@live.co.uk.

Karen Argent

July 2015

where can I ride my trike cover                                                                                                                            

It is still relatively unusual to find a children’s picture book where people with disabilities are the main protagonists in a story. This very accessible self- published picture book introduces us to seven year old Natalie and three other characters who enjoying cycling together using hired adapted trikes. The back cover information tells us that Natalie and Timothy have Cerebral Palsy, and although it is not explicitly stated in the text, it is clear from the illustrations that Natalie and Timothy use walking aids when not on their trikes. I met the author, Dawn Pickering, currently a lecturer at Cardiff University, at an excellent disability studies conference There is no them at University of the West of England. Her professional background is as a physiotherapist and she was inspired to write this book because of her research for the organisation ‘Pedal power’ http://www.cardiffpedalpower.org/?page_id=11 which looks at the positive effects of adapted cycling for children with CP.

As the children cycle with older family members (all of course wearing cycling helmets), they encounter various people, horses, swans, daffodils and dogs. Along the way they stop to enjoy an ice cream and then, having returned the trikes they all speculate about where they might be able to ride them in the future including at the Paralympics and the Olympics. Not the most exciting of plots but one that presents an ordinary day out with family and friends doing everyday things.

The narrative is clear and the minimal text is conveyed using different colours and font in a variety of sizes to indicate some key words and break up the page in an attractive way. The very detailed illustrations by the author’s daughter Hannah Pickering http://www.creativewriterphotographer.com/index.html are distinctive in style and vividly coloured. The heavy black lines are particularly effective and remind me of a stained glass window effect. The contrasting texture in the soft depiction of the trees and cloudy sky works very well.

Books like this are important because they include people with disabilities as part of the ‘normal’ landscape. However it is not a book about disability and I would thoroughly recommend it to be used with young children as a way of talking about cycling and what they enjoy doing with family and friends. In their discussion they might just happen to notice the wheelchair and the walking frame but it doesn’t really matter. The final page invites the reader to speculate about where to they might like to ride a trike. This is a positive closing statement from the group that includes at least two individuals with disabilities to travel with them into the world of possibility. The overall message seems to be that there are no barriers to enjoying a trike ride, whether in reality or the imagination.

If you interested in buying the book please contact Dawn direct at dawnpickering@live.co.uk.

Karen Argent

July 2015

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