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The Patchwork Bike

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About the Story

What's the best fun in the whole village? Riding the patchwork bike we made! 

When you live in a village at the edge of the No-Go Desert, you need to make your own fun. That's when you and your brothers get inventive and build a bike from scratch, using everyday items like an old milk pot (maybe mum is still using it, maybe not) and a used flour sack. You can even make a numberplate from bark, if you want. The end result is a spectacular bike, perfect for going bumpity-bump over sandhills, past your fed-up mum and right through your mud-for-walls home.

Jump aboard The Patchwork Bike and celebrate the childhood freedom and joy of owning and riding a bike! Maxine Beneba Clarke's sparse yet evocative text is delightfully vibrant with irrepressible energy and exuberance. The beautiful illustrations by street artist Van T Rudd cleverly mimic the patchwork bike in his use of paint daubs and recycled cardboard. Combined, the words and pictures highlight inventiveness and creativity born out of necessity, and send a powerful message about the fun and adventurousness that can be found without the need for commercial possessions.

Read wonderfully by actor Zahra Newman, this is an outstanding story that deserves every accolade.


*included in the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge K-2 list.

Story Details



Maxine Beneba Clarke


    Van T Rudd


    Zahra Newman


    Hachette Children's, Hachette Australia
    Australia, 2016


CBCA Previously Shortlisted, Cultural Diversity, Family Life, NSW PRC, S.T.E.M., Siblings

Suitable for

Preschool (3-5yrs), Lower Primary (5-8yrs), Middle Primary (8-10yrs)



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