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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pedal It! How Bicycles Are Changing the World. Written by Michelle Mulder. Orca Book Publishers, 2013. 19.95 ages 8 and up

"I was fifteen when I bought my first bicycle, and I rode it for almost twenty years. One summer, I pedaled it more than six thousand kilometers (thirty-seven hundred miles) across Canada. Eventually, it looked so old that friends suggested I buy a new one. I refused until the gear system broke beyond repair."

I received this thorough and thoughtful book from Orca as part of the first duo being launched under the Orca Footprints tag. Now, I am ready to tell you about them, while I await the arrival of the third in this welcome and well-designed series. I will tell you about it as soon as it arrives.

Focused on the natural world, and brimming with history, information, and exceptional photographs, readers will find themselves totally immersed in the world of bike transport as they pore over the visual and textual material presented by author Michelle Mulder.

"In Ghana, as in many countries, bicycles mean the difference between an empty belly and a full one, or even life and death. So scientists John Mutter and David Ho founded the Bamboo Bike Project in Ghana to help local factories produce low-cost, high-quality bamboo bikes. These bicycles are very strong and can carry loads of up to 227 kilograms (500 pounds). They also have excellent natural shock absorption, perfect for riding on bumpy roads. This project is good for the environment and good for the people involved."

I was so entertained by the stories, the sidebars, the 'on my route' entries that are found consistently throughout this worthwhile read. It is full of tidbits that are sure to encourage young readers to spend time together sharing what they are learning. She knows what she is talking about, and it certainly shows with every entry. The text flows easily, the design is worthy of high praise and there is much information to surprise and attract close attention.

Michelle Mulder is a worthy enthusiast for making changes to help the environment and she presents a strong case for making the switch to bicycle power, for many of our daily trips as possible and even to ensure new jobs:

"My friend Claudio loves baking bread. He loves cycling too. So when he decided to sell his bread at local farmers' markets, he bought a cargo bicycle and built a box for the front. The box stores everything he needs to sell his delicious creations at the market. He even built a heater to keep his baking warm. Imagine riding a bike with the scent of freshly baked bread surrounding you!"

 You are going to love this is perfect for sharing in a family, in a classroom, with a friend. It might even encourage you to get out there and try one for yourself.

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