Summer Reading Picks for Younger Riders

erin potter bikearlington
Erin Potter Tweet Us @BikeArlington@BikeArlington June 25, 2018
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Erin Potter is the Program Manager for BikeArlington. She appreciates Arlington’s low-stress street and trail network, which allows her to get places easily by bike.

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The young (and young at heart) are sure to be inspired by these picture books that focus on the joys and benefits of walking and biking in your community.

In honor of Arlington Public Libraries launching their 2018 Summer Reading Challenge, we wanted to highlight some of APS Librarian, Theresa Flynn’s, favorite books about walking and biking for young readers. The full list was complied ahead of Bike and Walk to School Day, but we think great books about walking and biking are even more relevant in the summer, when it feels like there’s more time for everything.

Finding Joy in Exploration

Sidewalk Flowers
Author: JonArno Lawson

In this picture book, the beauty of the city is everywhere, if you take the time to look.

Redwoods
Author: Jason Chin

A walk with a book transports young readers from the city deep into a California Redwood Grove in this richly illustrated, fact-filled book.

Last Stop on Market Street
Author: Matt de la Pena

A bus ride is transformed as a child rides with his Grandmother and meets the people who ride with him.

Solving Problems

How to Bicycle to the Moon
Author: Mordicai Gerstein

This cheeky upper level reader lays out 24 easy (and delightfully rube Goldberg machine-esque) steps to grow flowers on the moon.

The Most Magnificent Thing
Author: Ashley Spires

A young inventor and her dog embark on a mission to create the most magnificent thing. There are some stumbles and tantrums along the way, and their solution of taking a walk reminds us that stepping away can be the best way to solve a problem.

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle
Author: Chris Rashcka

Learning new things takes time and persistence, and the colorful watercolor protagonist of this picture book helps remind us to try and try again as we work towards our goals.

Creating Community

The Girl & the Bicycle
Author: Mark Pett

In pursuit of a green bike in a shop window, a young girl forges new friendships as she works odd jobs in her community. The ending of this one is quite charming.

The Busiest Street in Town
Author: Mara Rockliff

As noted elsewhere, this book is basically tactical urbanism for kids, and a sweet story that makes the case that streets are for people, not cars.

Pedal Power
Author: Allan Drummond

Amsterdam is a great place to bike, and this book tells the stories of the individuals and groups that came together to make their city a safe and easy place to walk and bike.

Explore Arlington this Summer

Both bicycles and books make excellent travel companions, taking you places you never thought you’d be able to go. Both give you time to explore, learn, and help you connect with the people you meet along the way. This summer, we hope you have plenty of time to read, ride, walk, and explore Arlington.

For more ideas about where to walk and bike in Arlington this summer, download the BikeArlington Comfort Map, WalkArlington’s Walkabouts, or ride along with Kiddical Mass.

  • Sarah Cummings says:

    Even I love Redwoods. It’s such a beautifully illustrated book. Thanks for sharing. There’s some great present ideas.

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