Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary, Intermediate
Author: Allan Drummond
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
The roads of Amsterdam used to be full of bikes, but that all changed when cars and trucks started to fill the streets. It became difficult and dangerous to ride bikes between rows of cars. Children on bikes were being killed by cars. In the 1970s, a woman named Maartje Rutten and her friends began protesting to make the streets safe for bikes again. Because of their efforts, Amsterdam and many other cities around the world have found ways that cars and bikes can safely share streets.
The story of Maartje goes beyond teaching children about the history of bicycles in Amsterdam—it teaches children that they can advocate for change in their own city. The end pages add to the book, sharing fun facts about how bicycles have changed the world and style over time. Bright watercolor artwork fills the pages with color, separating the text to make it easier to read. A possible use for this book would be to introduce street safety or Bike to School Day in the classroom.