Frank and Bert: The One Where Bert Learns To Ride a Bike takes a humorous and heartwarming look at a major milestone in a child’s life – learning to ride a bike. This beautifully illustrated, gentle story of friendship and support is the perfect first picture book for a very young reader.
The Story: Frank and Bert decide to go on a big bike ride. But Bert is not very good at cycling – he wibbles and wobbles all over the place. Frank tries to help by holding onto Bert’s bike while he rides but there’s trouble when he lets go. So Frank puts a seat for Bert on the back of his bike. It’s tough cycling with a big bear on the back and when they get to the top of a hill Frank is too tired to cycle any more. But how are they going to get home? Bert has an idea…
The bike ride starts well but Bert gets into trouble by the pond which has consequences for a bunny and a raccoon. Although Frank spends a lot of time patiently trying to help things don’t get any better. But Frank doesn’t give up – we love the way he cycles with Bert sitting on the back. The two friends have a wonderfully supportive relationship and we love the way that Frank’s predicament helps Bert find a solution to his own problem whilst also helping his friend.
Frank tells the story of their experiences in short, easy to read sentences and lots of onomatopoeia but much of the action is also shown in the gorgeous illustrations. The vibrant colours of the characters stand out against the pastel colours of the landscape and the clean cream background. We love the illustration of Frank and Bert on their bikes and the ducks in their woolly hats make us laugh!
This would be a lovely story to stimulate conversation about friendship in an Early Years classroom. Before reading children could discuss how they think Frank can help Bert learn to ride his bike, similarly the reader could stop reading when the characters get to the top of the hill and think about how Frank and Bert can get home. Children can be encouraged to talk about how they support their friends when they need help.
Author / Illustrator: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy of Frank and Bert: The One Where Bert Learns To Ride a Bike.