Book review: Get on Your Bike, by Joukje Akveld, illustrated by Philip Hopman, translated by Laura Watkinson

Akveld, Joukje. Get on your bike. Illust. Philip Hopman. Trans. Laura Watkinson. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2018 (org. 2014). $18.00. ISBN 9780802854896. Ages 4-8. P7 Q7

Get on your bike is an English translation of Ga toch fietsen! Originally published in Dutch, the story centers around William and Bobby (org. Willem and Boese), an argument, and how one of the characters finds a constructive way to burn off steam and gain perspective when he’s angry. Hopman packs plenty of activity into his detailed, page-filling illustrations à la Richard Scarry. The peripheral characters often look and gesture at the reader, acknowledging our presence. Get on your bike will be appreciated by young wheel enthusiasts and features charming European cultural objects and architecture.

Verdict: The story depicts a healthy way to process negative feelings, promotes outdoor activity, and provides examples of fossil fuel free transportation. It could accompany a unit on relationships or emotions.

April 2019 review by Lillian Curanzy.

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