Happy Go For a Ride Day!
Whether your preference is historical, scary, wintery, or absurd, I think you’ll enjoy taking a ride with one of these picture books.
What happens when a bunch of friends go sledding on the first day of February when the sleet covered the snow, making a thick sheet of crust so hard you can’t break it? Lizzie, her best friends, her brothers, and the boys down the street find out when Lizzy takes out her Grampa Bud’s homemade, double-runner sled out of the barn. The kids pulled and pushed and crawled up Old Mountain Road with the sled. They slid backwards more than once and finally made a human chain hugging the trees along the way until they reached the top. From there, the town below looked awfully small and far away, but no one would admit to being scared. So they all lined up on Grampa Bud’s sled and gave a little push and went whooshing and whizzing down the hill. Tears blew from their eyes. They laughed and screamed at the same time. They landed in a heap at the bottom of hill, got up, and announced “Let’s do it again.” So they did.
This historical account of the famous ride of Paul Revere, introduces children to the silversmith, patriot, and American Hero. The story begins with the story of the Boston Tea Party, where the colonists rebelled against King George for being taxed without representation. They decided to fight for their freedom from Great Britain. On the night of April 18, 1775 Paul Revere heard that the British soldiers were on their way to Lexington to take the Colonists’ weapons and arrest their leaders. He planned to beat the soldiers to Lexington to warn the Colonists. Because he wasn’t sure if the soldiers were coming by land or by sea, he had friends send him a signal he could see. One lantern light in the bell tower of the Od North Church meant the soldiers were marching by land, two lanterns meant that they were rowing across the Charles River. Paul crossed the river silently and jumped on his horse, not stopping until he arrived in Lexington. There in the middle of the night, Paul Revere rode through the town calling out his warning. The citizens were ready in a minute waiting for the British soldiers when they arrived later. He and two others rode to Concord. Along the way he was captured by the British soldiers, but his friends escaped and were able to warn the Colonists in Concord. When the British reached Concord the next morning, the minutemen were ready. There was a battle and many men died, but the soldiers gave up after a few hours and returned to Boston. Eight years later, the Colonist won their freedom and honored Paul Revere for his brave ride in the night.
The Bus Ride That Changed History: The Story of Rosa Parks written by Pamela Duncan Edwards and illustrated by Danny Shananan (2005)
Cartoon character and speech bubbles tell the story of Rosa Parks and her stand for racial equality. A historical background is given on each page with words spoken by children explaining what it means. Words like segregation and separation are explained. Each page ends with the words ‘which was overturned because one woman was brave’. Rosa Parks is introduced about mid-way through the book when she refused to move for a white man on the now famous bus ride. She was arrested and found guilty of not following the law. She was not defended by her lawyers who wanted to take this case to the Supreme Court. Boycotts were organized and the case went all the way to Washington DC. The Civil Rights movement grew in strength across the country. Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. joined the fight. The Supreme Court ruled that the laws of segregation were illegal and the ways of our country changed from that day on. Rosa Parks was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Freedom.
The Golly Sisters Ride Again written by Betsy Byars and illustrated by Sue Truesdell (1994)
This is a beginning chapter book for picture book readers. It has five short chapters and is written in easy to read text for the emergent independent reader. Rose and May-May are sisters in a traveling show. Their show is comedic in the sense that nothing seems to go right for them. One day after a disastrous show the sisters load up their wagon and head for Talking Rock. The Talking Rock told them that Rose was the best singer and May-May was the better dancer. But neither sister believed the talking rock so they went on their way. Later the sisters decide to put on a play. The sisters argued about who would get to play the part of the princess and who would have to play the part of the troll. They finally decide to write a new play about two princesses. When they got tired of singing and dancing they decided to take a holiday. All day long they danced in the fields and sang a song they made up about the holiday. At the end of the day, the Golly Sisters were ready to go back to work singing and dancing. In the final chapter the sisters are afraid of a storm, of course neither one of them would admit to being afraid. But the storm gets so bad, they decide it would be fun to hide under the bed and close their eyes and sing loudly. When the storm passed, the Golly Sisters agreed that it was good that they were not like children anymore and they rode off to clear skies ahead.