Reviews for Pedal It! : How Bicycles Are Changing the World

Booklist Reviews 2013 June #1
In this colorfully illustrated book, an avid cyclist talks about the history of bicycles as well as their varied uses today. The introduction sets a personal tone that Mulder returns to throughout the book in the many sidebars concerning her experiences and those of her friends and family. Loosely organized, the second half of the book strings together a great many paragraphs on topics such as bicycle taxis in Africa, mail carriers in Britain, bike sharing in cities, bicycle ambulances in Namibia, and bike-powered generators in Nepal and Afghanistan. The quality of the color photographs is quite good, though sometimes the photos don't directly illustrate the text on the same page. Although much of the information is more anecdotal than statistical, the book's international focus is valuable, and students will find material here that is both interesting and potentially useful for reports. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
Divided into four chapters, this book looks at the history and anatomy of the bicycle, and explores reasons for its use, such as low cost and environmental impact. Well-captioned photos that show the unusual ways in which bikes have been put to work--from bicycle soccer in Europe to bicycle ambulances in Namibia--illustrate the accessible text. Reading list, websites. Ind.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
A bike's design is to get you from A to B, concedes Mulder, but it can also mix a smoothie, spin a centrifuge, grind grain and even change the world. Mulder's evolutionary survey of the bicycle is, like the subject in question, a piece of many parts: a cultural history, a course in mechanics, a soupçon of physics, a spotlight on economic class and a springboard for innovation. In a bouncy, friendly tone, she proceeds roughly chronologically but has no hesitation to follow a thread or a whim, often in colorful boxed asides. The main narrative--an easygoing, fundamental examination of the bike's impact on America's history and the world today (without running too deep)--is shot through with archival and modern photographs. Some are just priceless, like the father and son riding penny-farthing bikes fit to their size. They range from stiletto-sharp photos of bread couriers balancing huge trays of loaves on their heads to a salesman whose bike is festooned with plastic bags full of water and goldfish. Mulder twines the mechanics of bicycles with cultural phenomenon, the environmental benefits of cycling and even the change in women's fashions. It publishes simultaneously with Nikki Tate's Down to Earth: How Kids Help Feed the World as part of the Orca Footprints series. A smart, tangy history of our two-wheeled friend. (Nonfiction. 8-14) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 June #1

In one of two titles launching the Orca Footprints line, which examines topics relating to the natural world, Mulder looks into the history of the bicycle, the mechanics of how they work, and ways they are used around the world (color photographs show a bamboo bike in Ghana, nine preschoolers in a "bicycle bus" in Amsterdam, and a bike-powered smoothie blender in Guatemala). Mulder's writing is entertaining and accessible, and numerous sidebars about bicycle trivia and notes on the ways bikes have impacted the author's life add to the substantial information offered. Simultaneously available: Down to Earth: How Kids Help Feed the World. Ages 8-12. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 July

Gr 3-6--These books feature accessible texts, appealing layouts, and global perspectives. Beginning with the difficult-to-ride high-wheelers and boneshakers of yore, Pedal It! launches with a lively history of bicycles. Other chapters discuss how these vehicles work, their various functions (from leisure-time activity to courier or taxi services), and how they are being used today in various countries (to haul goods, help street kids make a living, as ambulances, and even to generate power). Throughout, the author emphasizes that this means of transportation affords health benefits, protects the environment, and empowers people around the world to improve their lives. Down to Earth investigates how youngsters help to produce, prepare, and distribute food. A chapter on "Seeds and Plants" stresses the importance of genetic diversity, highlights types of produce (including worldwide staples such as rice and cassava), and discusses the extra costs-and benefits-associated with organic farming. Three more sections cover poultry raising, other barnyard critters (goats, pigs, cattle, etc.), and working animals (from plow-pulling oxen in China to fertilizer-producing worms). Both engagingly written titles are filled with fun facts and well-captioned photos that provide alluring glimpses into different cultures and locales. Two inviting choices for informing and inspiring curious readers and world citizens.--Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal

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