Christopher's Bicycle by Charlotte Middleton

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Christopher's Bicycle by Charlotte Middleton

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Although this is very sweet, beautifully illustrated and full of adorable guinea pigs, the story itself sadly felt a little flat to me and lacking in re-readability.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: February 2013
Publisher: OUP Oxford
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0192758354

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Something is going on in the shed! Christopher Nibble (the guinea pig) wonders what his dad is doing in there, banging and crashing about. And his mum too has some secret sewing project going on. What on earth could they be up to? Worry not, for all is revealed when Christopher is presented with his very own brand new recycled bicycle!

Yes, Christopher's bike has been lovingly recycled and made as good as new by his kind parents, and that gives Christopher an idea. He decides to undertake some recycling himself, so off he cycles into Dandeville where he gets old newspapers from the library, stale bread from the bakery and old coffee jars from the coffee shop. Helped by Posie and Poppy they investigate recycling ideas (which involves searching on their ipad in one picture!) and soon they've turned the papers into carrier bags, the stale bread into hanging bird feeders and the jars become vases full of dandelions! Everyone is very happy with the recycled products, and they become so excited about recycling that they decide to hold a recycling race!

The illustrations in this story are terribly sweet. If you're a fan of guinea pigs then you won't want to miss their chubby little bodies and sweet, innocent expressions. The pictures are all colourful and bright, with lots to look at. I certainly applaud the idea behind the book in encouraging little ones to learn about recycling, and the things the guinea pigs make are fairly easy to replicate at home if any crafting parents feel like it. My only issue with the book is that the story, particularly the ending, feels that it is lacking something somehow. I was glad that everyone liked the recycled items that Christopher and his friends made, but I felt the recycling race fell a little flat at the end. The picture to go with it is fun as it shows guinea pigs riding on various different cobbled together vehicles, but I felt that perhaps there needed to be a little bit more text to support this somehow and just round the story off. I've read it through several times now and each time I get to the end I turn the page expecting just one more bit of story, to finish it off!

I would recommend taking a look in the library first, because you may well find that you're perfectly content with the guinea pigs' finale and it's just me being pedantic! I do feel that it isn't a book we'll be coming back to over and over and, since reading it, my daughter hasn't mentioned it again so I don't feel it's one of those instant favourites. Still, it's certainly worth taking a look for all the lovely, colourful guinea pigs. I think perhaps rather than a bedtime story this would work better in a group setting, within nurseries or reception classes, as a good way to get small children thinking about recycling.

Don't let me put you off reading the other stories about Christopher Nibbles! Take a look at what The Bookbag thought of Christopher Nibble and Christopher's Caterpillars.

Buy Christopher's Bicycle by Charlotte Middleton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Christopher's Bicycle by Charlotte Middleton at

Buy Christopher's Bicycle by Charlotte Middleton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Christopher's Bicycle by Charlotte Middleton at


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