On the surface, Born to Ride: A Story About Bicycle Face is a book about a girl being taught to ride a bicycle by her brother. Looking deeper, Larissa Theule made a piece of history that shows a slice of what women did to gain many rights we take for granted today.
The illustrations perfectly complement Theule’s text with the bold use of color and details (which there are a lot), showing multiple events all at once. This dual story by illustrations allow us to see what is happening in the “Grown Up World” in the background, as the foreground shows how a young girl defies the issues women face by just riding a bike. And as said, the surface and background show two different ways of gaining women’s rights. Kelsey Garrity-Riley art brings to life a world that showed the bumps of showing women’s abilities in a world that thought them “too delicate” for something like bicycle riding. The idea of “Bicycle Face” was fairly new to me (I might have heard of it but did not remember). And Theule creates a work that shoots that idea down in many ways. This piece of history comes to life in an all-ages picture book.
The afterwards gives more details of the historical aspects of the time (women’s suffrage as the main theme). As well as answering a question I had about the people seen at the gatherings the mother of our heroine hosts. This book is educational as well as a story about determination and keep trying even if you literally fall.