Pedal Power: How One Community Became the Bicycle Capital of the World

illus. by Allan Drummond. 40p. biblio. glossary. Farrar. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374305277.
K-Gr 3—Veteran nonfiction children's author Drummond presents yet another engaging tale about community action leading to change. This title relates how Amsterdam became a world-renowned city of bicycles. Bicycles had always been abundant in the city because they were affordable. But in the 1970s, the economy grew and so did the number of motor vehicles on the roads, while bicycles rapidly became outnumbered. Some people started protesting, including Maartje Rutten. Then, in 1971, Dutch journalist Vic Langenhoff wrote an impassioned article about the more than 500 children who had died that year in traffic and bicycle accidents, including his own daughter. That article roused the entire country to the dangers of mixing bikes and motor vehicles without laws, and the need for regulations to protect cyclists. The persistence of Rutten, other avid cyclists, and community activists, as well as an oil and gas shortage, eventually encouraged political leaders to support city and community bicycle laws. The text is well written, engaging, and concise. Words are scattered throughout the illustrations, enhancing the visual experience. The bright cartoon-style ink and color washes, with flowing lines, create the impression of movement, which is well suited to the subject matter. Appended are an author's note, a bibliography of additional resources, a short pictorial list of famous cyclists, and a brief pictorial glossary of types of bicycles.
VERDICT An intriguing nonfiction picture book to augment the community action section and for casual reading.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing