Bikeability books for kids ??

For discussions within the Cycle Training profession.
william_just
Posts: 10
Joined: 26 Mar 2014, 12:57pm

Bikeability books for kids ??

Postby william_just » 28 May 2014, 8:05pm

Hello all.

I'm a National Standard instructor and I've just done a cycling picture book for kids. It's not a prescriptive book about Bikeability, it's meant more as a story book to help normalise and promote cycling to children, and get them asking questions, but Bikeability does get a mention, of course! Please take a look here and let me know what you think:

http://yngbkrz.tumblr.com

I've looked around for kids' cycling books but haven't been able to find any (manuals not included), so the question is: does anyone know of any books for kids they'd recommend..??

William

User avatar
pjclinch
Posts: 4112
Joined: 29 Oct 2007, 2:32pm
Location: Dundee, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Bikeability books for kids ??

Postby pjclinch » 30 May 2014, 2:31pm

I like it, though a few things spring to mind. Not so much criticisms as "damned if you do, damned if you don't" paradoxes...

My wife is Dutch, and she was cycling as a normal transport modality from the age of around 4, which is as it should be and probably the state we'd like to be. She's said she never realised she was "a Cyclist" until she moved to the UK in her mid-30s. It's a paradox that if you normalise cycling it ceases to be a special thing you can centre a gang around.

"Cycling is safe, if you know how", counterpoints "they're just making it more dangerous for everyone" quite awkwardly. Not that I disagree with either statement.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15183
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: Bikeability books for kids ??

Postby Si » 30 May 2014, 2:43pm

I like the way that it rolls along in a jolly fashion. The layout is pleasing. But I would just question if it would be possible to add more activity to it. What I mean is: kid reads speech bubbles, glances at pics, turns to next page, repeat....there might not be a lot on each page to keep attention. Perhaps some tips and advice away from the main story, or a "where's Waldo" type hunt'n'search among the pics? I guess it depends upon what age you intend it for....maybe the pics look a bit grown up for toddlers, but the content isn't that involved for bikeability aged kids?

But please don't think of this as a criticism - I think it great that you are trying to do something like this (plus you are brave in touching on the "H*****" subject :wink: ).

What I would like to see is a book aimed at Yr5 & 6 that just recaps the Bikeability L1 and L2 stuff so that they don't forget it straight away. But I guess that this would have to be done in conjunction with the DfT, especially as they move the goalposts every now and then.

william_just
Posts: 10
Joined: 26 Mar 2014, 12:57pm

Re: Bikeability books for kids ??

Postby william_just » 17 Jun 2014, 9:16pm

pjclinch wrote:My wife ... never realised she was "a Cyclist" until she moved to the UK in her mid-30s. It's a paradox that if you normalise cycling it ceases to be a special thing you can centre a gang around.

"Cycling is safe, if you know how", counterpoints "they're just making it more dangerous for everyone" quite awkwardly. Not that I disagree with either statement.


Hi Pete, thanks for your points, which are well made. In an ideal world we wouldn't be cyclists (or bikers). We are, of course, far from living in an ideal world. I'd certainly trade the 'special status' if it meant a majority of people cycling (at least some of the time) though.

The two statements you highlight do seem to contradict each other, but as you say, they're both credible! As a Bikeability instructor I encourage cyclists to think of the roads as essentially safe, but I'm also aware that certain conditions (such as the school run) can make cycling potentially less safe. The perception, that cycling to school is less safe, is certainly increased.

FYI, I'm currently crowd funding to get the book printed so please do spread the word if you think it would be a good addition to a kid's bookshelf:

http://kck.st/1p9OFZu

Thanks

William

william_just
Posts: 10
Joined: 26 Mar 2014, 12:57pm

Re: Bikeability books for kids ??

Postby william_just » 17 Jun 2014, 9:30pm

Si wrote:I would just question if it would be possible to add more activity to it. ... Perhaps some tips and advice away from the main story, or a "where's Waldo" type hunt'n'search among the pics? I guess it depends upon what age you intend it for....maybe the pics look a bit grown up for toddlers, but the content isn't that involved for bikeability aged kids?

What I would like to see is a book aimed at Yr5 & 6 that just recaps the Bikeability L1 and L2 stuff so that they don't forget it straight away. But I guess that this would have to be done in conjunction with the DfT, especially as they move the goalposts every now and then.


Hi Si, many thanks for your suggestions... A few people have suggested the 'hunt' idea to me (great minds, etc...) and I think it's a good idea, although I haven't decided exactly what yet, but this is a likely addition. The intended age group is 7 to 9 yrs (though I think it could work for slightly younger and slightly older kids).

I'm intending to produce it as an eBook later in the year and, if possible (I've not yet looked into it), I want to add some interactive 'rollovers / hotspots' to add tips and advice, etc. This wouldn't be about Bikeability per se, but it could be touched upon. I have thought about doing exactly what you suggest (an L1 / L2 post-course booklet) using the Young Bikers characters, but I haven't got round to it yet.

As I said in my previous reply to Pete: I'm currently crowd funding to get the book printed so please do spread the word if you think it would be a good addition to a kid's bookshelf:

http://kck.st/1p9OFZu

Many thanks

William