Book Review: Bicycling to the Moon (Chapter Book)

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Bicycling to the Moon by Timo Parvela
Published on September 1, 2016.
Goodreads Summary:
A captivating and funny chapter book about two friends: a cat who is full of ideas and a dog with endless patience.

My Review:
Like many other chapter books, this book contains 20 chapters that are all really individual stories about the same characters. Purdy (a cat) and Barker (a dog) are best friends, and they live together at the top of the hill. In the first chapter they Barker gets the idea that he can bike to the moon. Purdy is a loyal friend, and he buys the bike Barker has been wanting and agrees to go with him, so his friend doesn’t drown in the lake. Of course, they don’t make it to the moon.
In the other chapters they play soccer, go fishing, have a tomato war, attempt to migrate like the birds, etc. Purdy and Barker are an unusual pair of friends, but they’re good for each other.  Purdy likes to play and thinks a good day is one in which he reads or paints. Barker works hard tending his garden. And though the pair often butt heads, they do care about each other a lot. Barker makes Purdy’s breakfast and Purdy wants to teach Barker the correct way to fish. They’re like an old married couple, set in their ways.
These stories are a little odd for a kids’ book. And each story has a subtle message, some perhaps too subtle. Most chapters’ morals were obvious, i.e. not bragging, apologizing, thinking before acting, or avoiding overconfidence or perfectionism. But I had to think hard about a couple of chapters, and I’m not sure kids would understand the intended meaning or some of the humor.
For kids who enjoy contemporary stories, this book might be an OK read. The chapters are short, so the stories can be digested chapter by chapter, night by night. But the content isn’t the greatest especially given the imbalance between reading level/length and the subject matter and language. Sadly, I didn’t really like this book. I think it’s the children’s equivalent of a character-driven novel. Just not my thing.

My Rating: 2 stars

I’m linking up with Booking Mama today for Kid Konnection. Every Saturday Julie hosts this link up for all things relating to children’s books.

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