Together We Ride written by Valerie Bolling and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita is a beautiful book about a young girl learning to ride a bicycle with her father in the park. Learning to ride a bike is an important moment and there are many ups and downs. There are falls and feelings of doubt, but also feeling of triumph.
Together We Ride is a wonderful story but also an opportunity for literacy and language. I love how the author, Valerie Bolling highlights keywords throughout the story “quick stride”, “slip”, “slide” and “tossed aside”. This book can be a literacy opportunity to target phonemic awareness, print awareness, and rhyming and is ideal for emerging readers. The illustrations and text come together as one within this book which makes the book natural as a read-aloud. It also gives the opportunity to recall when your child learned to ride a bike. If your child hasn’t learned yet, this book can be a perfect opportunity to talk more about it! I also love the warm and supportive relationship between father and daughter in this book. This book can be a perfect gift for a Father’s Day!
Do you want to learn more about Valerie Bolling? Check out my review of Let’s Dance and my podcast with Valerie here.
To check out Valerie’s other books and learn about this inspirational author, click here.
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More Language Tips
I love this book for language opportunities such as vocabulary growth and sequencing. After reading the book, review some of the new words such as “stride”. Get up from your seat and talk about a “quick stride” versus “slow stride”. Together We Ride is also a good opportunity for emotions. How does the girl feel in the book? She feels proud, sad, hurt, excited, and overjoyed. Discuss all of these emotions and how we can tell from her nonverbal communication (e.g. crying in one scene, smiling in another). Talk about sequencing (first, then, next). Finally, have fun when reading the book and read with expression!