Elem. – Girl on a Motorcycle

Novesky, Amy. Girl on a Motorcycle. Viking, 2020. 978-0-593-11629-6. Unpaged. $17.99. Grades K-5.

In 1973, a young woman in Paris dreams of seeing the world. So she gets on her motorcycle and takes off, becoming the first woman to solo circumnavigate the world on a motorcycle. This is the story of Anne-France Dautheville and her remarkable journey. Beginning in Canada, the 28-year-old white woman rides across North America, Japan, India, on to Turkey, back to Europe, and eventually, home. Anne-France’s magnificent style shines through the poetic text and gorgeous, soft-hued, yet bold illustrations. Her path leads her through myriad cultures and experiences. “I want the world to be beautiful, and it is beautiful. I want people to be good, and they are good.” This book will certainly ignite wonder and curiosity about the world and its people in readers, as well as deep admiration for Anne-France.

THOUGHTS: A beautiful book that does justice to a remarkable woman. In addition, it is a much needed reminder that the world is, indeed, beautiful and good. Highly recommended for elementary libraries.

Picture Book          Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor SD

Elem. – Little Red Sleigh

Guendelsberger, Erin. Little Red Sleigh. Sourcebooks Wonderland, 2020. $13.70. Unpaged. Grades K-3. 

The little red sleigh wishes to be something bigger, something stronger, something grander–Santa’s sleigh. Others tell her that this will never happen, but she is determined to make it to the North Pole and convince Santa that she can do the job. Along the tough journey, she is helped along by a beautiful, grand train and a bright yellow truck, who tell her that life happens one step at a time–she has the right spirit but must employ some patience, too. When a major snowfall hits, the sleigh stops in a village where she enjoys a wonderful day of sledding with a little girl. Ultimately, the little red sleigh decides that she must let her life happen one step at a time too, and she stays with the little girl (perhaps before going on to bigger things with Santa). An encouraging note from the big man in a red suit doesn’t hurt, either!

THOUGHTS: Elizaveta Tretyakova’s beautiful illustrations turn this basic but sweet holiday story into something bigger and more grand.

Picture Book            Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD