What's the best fun in the whole village? Riding the patchwork bike we made! A joyous picture book for children by award-winning author Maxine Beneba Clarke.
When you live in a village at the edge of the No-Go Desert, you need to make your own fun. That's when you and your brothers get inventive and build a bike from scratch, using everyday items like an old milk pot (maybe mum is still using it, maybe not) and a used flour sack. You can even make a numberplate from bark, if you want. The end result is a spectacular bike, perfect for going bumpity-bump over sandhills, past your fed-up mum and right through your mud-for-walls home.
A delightful story from multi-award-winning author Maxine Beneba Clarke, beautifully illustrated by street artist Van T Rudd.
About the Author
Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent and the author of the poetry collections Gil Scott Heron Is on Parole and Nothing Here Needs Fixing. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, The Age, Meanjin, The Saturday Paper and The Big Issue. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil (2014) won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015, the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, and Maxine was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015, as well as being shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize.
Carrying the World, Maxine's collection of poetry, won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry 2017 and was shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award. The Hate Race, a memoir about growing up black in Australia won the NSW Premier's Multicultural NSW Award and was shortlisted for an ABIA, an Indie Award, the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and The Stella Prize. The Patchwork Bike, Maxine's first picture book with Van T. Rudd.
This deceptively simple story by author Maxine Beneba Clarke is beautifully written and incredibly powerful. It uses evocative language and onomatopoeia to flesh out a world so physically different from most Australian lives, but its universal appeal comes from anchoring the story to the experience of owning a bike. Written from the perspective of a child, we know little about her world other than she lives in a 'mud-for-walls' home in a village surrounded by 'no-go desert' and 'stretching-out sky'. The bike she shares with her cheeky brothers has been cobbled together from scavenged objects-handlebars from branches, a bell from mother's milk pot, and a flag made from a flour sack. The illustrations by artist Van T Rudd of paint on cardboard are stark and simple, often quite abstract, but they effectively flesh out this world. Like all the best writing, The Patchwork Bike asks more questions than it answers, making it a great conversation starter to learn more about other cultures, but it's also a delightful picture book for kids aged three and up that depicts the universal joy that riding a bike bestows. If it isn't shortlisted for a CBCA Award in the coming year, I will be very disappointed. - Books + Publishing
this book is just what many of us need right now - Kirkus Reviews
Clarke's poetically compressed language hurtles joyfully along, while Rudd's illustrations, made on cardboard boxes with spirited swaths of paint, burst with irrepressible life. - The New York Times