Kathy’s Bike by Steven McDaniel
The children’s picture book Kathy’s Bike begins as the author tells the reader how this story is based on a true tale about his sister Kathy. We are then introduced to his family, before learning that when Kathy and Steven were kids they didn’t have bicycles because their mother couldn’t afford them as a single parent. They used to watch the other kids ride around on Beaver Hill, which prompted Kathy to decide she would earn enough money to buy a bike of her own. She did chores around the house, mowed neighbor’s lawns, and took care of the leaves and snow in fall and winter. It still took a while for Kathy to save money for her bike, and eventually with her fifteen dollars she had saved she was able to go to a warehouse where bikes were being sold to the highest bidder. At the end of the auction Kathy was able to secure a few bikes for herself and some of her siblings which meant a lot to the family. The story ends with Kathy, Steven, and their younger brother Patrick riding their bikes down Beaver Hill.
This is a cute and endearing book about a brother who clearly looks up to his older sister, and appreciates the hard work she put into buying bicycles for them when they were young. The colorful illustrations go well with the narrative and bring the story to life. For a children’s book, the text of the story proves to be rather long, and each page contains a large amount of words that perhaps could have been split up further. The majority of the story seems to focus on the auction and buying of the bicycles, which should be shortened, as children will likely not be as interested in this part of the tale. Nevertheless, this is an entertaining book based on a true story that shows the true meaning of family and hard work.
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