MOMMY, I NEED MY WHEELS Book Summary
This lovely book follows the journey of a young boy named Eddy who finds himself lost after realizing his bicycle’s training wheels are missing. He fears he may never be able to ride his bike again. Eddy must make a decision to learn to ride without training wheels or risk never riding his bike again.
Family and Identity
What I loved most about this book is how it is so valuable in understanding the connection between family and identity as a jumping off point to confidence. The author of this #ownvoices has based the main character on her son. She adopted him from Haiti into their multiracial (Caucasian American /Haitian family. Since Eddy was darker than his siblings, her family are no strangers colorism. Furthermore, colorism can have devastating effects on a child’s self-worth.
This story has a relatable arc where we see Eddy riding a bike for the first time without training wheels. Readers will immediately identify with his uncertainty and wanting to keep security that the training wheels affords him. To begin the story, Eddy pleads with his parents to keep his training wheels. In turn, they lovingly challenge him to tackle the challenge of riding a bike without them.
As the story continues, we see Eddy having to fall and get back up again. However, woven into the story are illustrations where children have the opportunity to see a multiracial family simply living their life together— Eddy’s family sitting down for dinner, his dad doing the dishes, his mom giving him a bath.
Eddy’s parents encourage him as he pedals, dust him off after a big fall, and finally, promise him treats when he masters the task. Readers will delight in seeing Eddy, not only face, but conquer his fears.
In the end, stories like this one with simple challenges are ideal for young readers mental health. This is especially true now when the world is full of uncertainty. Kids are facing school closures, sick family members, and not being able to socialize with friends due to COVID-19. Books can be instrumental in helping children overcome trauma.
I highly recommend MOMMY, I NEED MY WHEELS for your home or classroom library. (Available in English/Haitian Creole.)