Friday, June 5, 2009

Connecting the Dots

My apologies for not posting as frequently these last few months. Kim has been posting extra which is great and she always has fun books, insights and links to share. The girls and I have been reading some terrific picture books daily and I've been keeping a mental list. A very special book that hasn't hit the mainstream, and likely won't, is titled Me and My Bike by Ander.

The small press Heryin published the English edition translated from Japanese. Kudos to Heryin for making this title available to the US market through Independent Publishers Group. If you liked Pink by Nan Gregory, Me and My Bike has a similar theme. The story is about a boy and his family in a humble, suburban Japanese setting. The boy rides his grandfather's old, too-big, banged-up bicycle around town while dreaming of owning a new shiny, fast bike. When his best friend bought the bike he wanted, he found a way to ride it tandem until a little too much adventure sent them both into a pond. And when he was no longer allowed to ride his friend's bike, his mother said he could have a new bike if his grades improved. He studied extra hard and got straight A's but alas there was no money for a new bike. Realizing that his mom worked extra hard for the family, he made a decision that instead of a new bike he would get a new box of crayons and put a fresh coat of paint on his old bike and then he would have new crayons and a new bike!

Ander worked in an animation company that produced numerous children's films before creating this first book. It's funny and quirky and heartwarming. The dogs bark like "wang wang" instead of bow wow and the street signs are written in Japanese. We all get to do a bit of arm-chair travelling with this story. The true message, however, is about the boy's ingenuity and newly found maturity. Children under five will enjoy the illustrations but older children will have a more complete and deeper understanding of the boy's situation and actions. It's always interesting to think of childhood events that had great significance in our lives. Maybe the events themselves weren't extrordinary, but the way we viewed and reacted to those events were. Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple and Pixar refers to it as connecting the dots. He said in his 2005 commencement address at Stanford that we can't necessarily connect the dots into the future but we can to the past. I've made some exciting decisions lately which I'll write about in an upcoming post, and I've included this inspirational video of Steve Jobs' address to the graduates. If you haven't yet seen it, or even if you have, it's well worth watching.


  1. What an amazing and inspiring speech! I'm ready to watch it all over again :)

  2. Thank you, I can't wait to read that book! Very cool.

  3. It is a special book and it has this very cool kind of bumpy paper. I hope a lot of libraries have picked it up and it's easy to find.

    Kim- Jobs' speach is plain-talking wisdom it is worth hearing more than once.


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