Big Red is a bicycle that Leo has outgrown. "Leo wants to give Big Red to someone who will love the bicycle as much as he does." He gives it to an organization that sends repaired bicycles to Africa and shares them with those who cannot afford one. In Burkina Faso, West Africa, Alisetta uses it to transport sorghum from her family's field to the market. When the spokes are broken, she in turn gives it to a medical clinic where a volunteer, Haridata, adds a stretcher to it and the bicycle becomes an ambulance. After bringing a little boy with a broken leg to clinic, "Haridata pats Big Red's seat as she leaves. "Good work," she says quietly."
At this time of year, when we begin to outwardly think and speak about gratefulness and miracles through the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, this book gives us an opportunity. As we are bombarded with store displays and ads to buy everything and anything for gifts, The Red Bicycle, offers us a chance to talk with our children about sharing and caring, recycling and tzedakah. We are reminded that "a child's desire to make a difference--can change lives across the world."
My students call me "Lori the Librarian." For the past 25 years I have had the best job as School Librarian in the Aaron Kushner Library for grades K-3 at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston.