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Reviewed by Matt Lebois for Readers' Favorite
In A Bike for Buster by Junior and Reba McLaughlin, creativity is used to support friendship and help Buster achieve a seemingly impossible dream. Farmer Bob gives old materials a second life around his farm. His animals are happy and well cared for, and he sure knows how to throw a birthday party. So when Buster, Annabelle’s best friend who happens to be a horse, feels lonely while the local kids ride off on their bikes, the inventive farmer knows just what to do. This vibrantly colored picture book spreads joy and shows how out-of-the-box thinking can help any creature to meet its goals.
I enjoyed this upbeat story about the friendship between animals and people. Buster’s struggle to join Annabelle’s bike-riding friends is funny, with a positive outcome. The text is snappy and kid-friendly. The best friends’ affection for each other is palpable. The brightly colored pages are full of detail, and the farm setting is instantly recognizable to the youngest readers. I think parents and children will have some nice giggles over watching Buster trying to ride a bicycle built for humans. I particularly appreciated how well Buster modeled bicycle safety by wearing a helmet. I wonder, how did he get it on? (This is another question for kids to creatively consider.) Overall, the book is great for families looking for a simple, fun, friendly book.