Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Small Readers: Little Big Horse: Where's my bike? by Dave Horowitz

The title of this looked awfully familiar; I must have seen mentions of it somewhere, but I didn't end up purchasing it as all my attention was focused on Neighborhoods for collection development.

This is the story of Little Big Horse. He is waiting anxiously for school to end so he can ride his bike. But when he races outside, his bike is gone! Pablo the bully (who also happens to be a bull) has taken his bike. Little Big Horse is dejectedly walking home when he discovers Pablo and his, now broken, bike. Turns out Pablo doesn't know how to fix a flat tire. Two fixed flat tires and one apology later, Pablo and Little Big Horse ride off into the desert.

Horowitz' watercolor caricatures are humorous and accessible. The characters have expressive faces and broadly memorable features. The text is shown in a large font with lots of white space around almost every sentence, keeping the focus on the words.

This is a good illustration of how utterly confusing publisher "levels" can be. Scholastic has several different "level 1" titles. Some have a small logo reading "50-250 words" which are much more complex. Others, like this one, have just a few words or one sentence per page.

Verdict: Maybe I'm just tired, but I don't really see where the humor comes into this - it's not exactly giving useful instructions on how to handle a thief or bully, since their reconciliation happened entirely by chance. The art has a cartoon feel, but nothing that said "funny" to me. An additional purchase.

ISBN: 9780545492140; Published 2014 by Scholastic; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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