Bikes for Sale
Written by Carter Higgins
Illustrated by Zachariah OHora
40 pages – ages 4+
Will Be Published by Chronicle Books on April 2, 2019
Synopsis from Publisher- “New Friends Ride in Right When You Need Them
Maurice rides his bike to his shop every day. Lotta rides her bike to collect sticks every day. Both go about their separate routines, unaware of the friendship that awaits them just a few blocks away. But what happens when a branch and a lemon peel get in the way?
This delightful friendship meet-cute from acclaimed picture book creators Carter Higgins and Zachariah OHora celebrates the power of coincidence to lead us to the friends we’re meant to meet all along.”
What I Thought- This was such a fun, sweet book! The book focuses on happiness and friendship – the characters go about their day doing what makes them happy which then makes others happy too. Higgins creates a world where people are good, where accidents can happen, and where friendship can succeed before anything else. OHora’s illustrations bring the whimsical story to life, filled with creative animals living their interesting lives.
There are so many details that you can find “hiding” in the background.
I loved this wholesome story and I know kids will too!
I give this five out of five bookworms!
Interview with the Author and Illustrator!
Carter Higgins is an elementary school librarian and the author of Everything You Need for a Treehouse and This Is Not a Valentine. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
EW- The opening – “They were new once. And then they weren’t.” – really struck me with almost a foreboding feeling of what was to come. How hard is it to come up with those opening lines when you sit down to write? (by the way I REALLY liked how you balanced that out at the end by just changing the tense!)
CH- I love that you noticed this! I wanted a big part of Bikes for Sale to be about the mystery of what bikes know about where their wheels go, so I knew I’d have to make the bikes crash in order for them to be fixed again. And yeah, that is kind of foreboding, right? So there was this old bike/new bike idea, and then pretty quickly I realized that friendships are old and then new too. I loved being able to twist those lines just a bit at the end.
Beginning and ending lines usually come fairly easily to me. I can hear them as I’m chasing the story. But all of the lines in the middle? Super hard.
EW- I get Maurice selling lemonade, but I have to say, I laughed at Lotta’s collecting sticks. It seems like an unusual commodity to give out. What was your inspiration for her?
CH- I went on a walk once with my nephew, just around the block, but it took over an hour. He picked up sticks and rocks and any little bits of nature that fit in his bucket. I love how little kids have collections of things that seem unusual to grownups, but are so precious to them. But also, I had to make sure that Maurice and Lotta didn’t have the same territory in their neighborhood—they couldn’t know each other at first!
EW- Did you have any idea Mr. OHora was going to give your characters such cool looking bikes?
Aren’t those bikes amazing? I didn’t know he would give them such cool bikes, no—but everything that he makes is so cool, so I knew our neighborhood would be the best place to hang out.
EW- Did you have a favorite bike growing up?
CH- I did! It was this one. This is me (on the left) and my friend Beverly, and we rode those bikes all over our own neighborhood. I always wanted a bell like Beverly, but I loved the way those pink handlebars felt in my palms. We were new once. And then, we weren’t.
Zachariah OHora is the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller Wolfie the Bunny, among many other beloved books for kids. He lives and works in Narberth, Pennsylvania.
EW- Where did you come up with the name of Lotta’s bike – “Chomper?”
ZOH- It’s based on a bike I coveted but did not have growing up. The Raleigh Chopper. It had a gear shifter on the frame and seemed “really fast”.
EW- Do you get an image in your head of what the characters look like right after you read the text or is that something that develops?
ZOH- Sometimes that happens right away. But often it’s something I think about for a while. Its a combination of what I feel like painting in the moment. What could serve the story and its setting. It has to be something that I didn’t just do in another book. In Bikes For Sale the names where so great that Maurice I knew right away I wanted a big-eyed, manic-panic red chipmunk. I had been drawing some hedgehogs and after some Googling I felt like there’s a lot of hedgehogs in picture books right now so I made Lotta an Echidna. Also known as a spiny anteater.
EW- I love all the little details you put in your work – the hippo with an mp3 player, Sid reading a book on welding – they are like “Easter Eggs” in picture books. Do you have fun putting things like that into your work?
ZOH- Ha! Good eye! I love putting in little Easter eggs in all the books I work on. It’s entertaining for me while I’m working on it. And I want to add to the story so that no matter how many times an adult or child reads it, they can find new things every time. Also, I’m old, so the Hippo actually has a Walk Man. It plays cassette tapes. She probably has an MP3 player at home but doesn’t know what to do with it.
EW- Did you have a favorite bike growing up?
ZOH- The Chopper was a favorite but it seemed exotic and out of reach. My other dream bike was a Huffy Thunder Road, that was probably designed to be a poor man’s Chopper. But it was still awesome.
THANK YOU BOTH SO MUCH!
To learn more about Ms. Higgins find her on her
TWITTER – @CarterHiggins
To Learn more about Mr. OHora fid him on his
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