The Patchwork Bike (Hardcover)

By Maxine Beneba Clarke, Van Thanh Rudd (Illustrator)

Candlewick, 9781536200317, 40pp.

Publication Date: September 11, 2018

List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


It has a bent bucket seat, bashed tin-can handlebars, and wood-cut wheels — and riding the patchwork bike that you and your crazy brothers made is the best fun in the whole village.

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 license plate from bark if you want. The end result is a spectacular bike, perfect for whooping and laughing as you bumpetty bump over sand hills, past your fed-up mum and right through your mud-for-walls home. A joyous story by multi-award-winning author Maxine Beneba Clarke, beautifully illustrated by street artist Van Thanh Rudd.

About the Author

Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian writer and slam poet champion of Afro-Caribbean descent. In 2015, she was named one of Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Novelists of the year. She lives in Australia.

Van Thanh Rudd is an Australian street artist and activist who studied at the Victorian College of the Arts, RMIT University, and Griffith University. The Patchwork Bike is his first picture book. He lives in Melbourne with his family.

Praise For The Patchwork Bike

The dark, bright, and desert hues create a blazing-hot world readers can almost step right into. Showcasing the fun to be had in a spare world, this book is just what many of us need right now.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

In her picture book debut, Clarke’s lines sing with sound and rhythm, evoking the “shicketty shake” sound of the bike on sand hills. Street artist Rudd’s textured paint-and-cardboard collages create a strong sense of a place (the blaze and shadow of the desert) and the people who live there...Without minimizing the clear references to economic and racial struggle, the words and images in this snapshot story pulse with resourceful ingenuity, joyful exuberance, and layered meanings.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

It’s so incredibly beautiful and the art is magnificent.
—A Fuse #8 Production (blog)