Sarah's Stars

Elisa Amado. Tricycle
Groundwood Books  $17.95  ISBN 978-0-8899-614-5
Reviewed by Emma, Age 15

Tricycle is a beautiful children’s story about wealth, friendship, and understanding. Set in Latin America, where one finds the very rich living alongside the very poor, this story shows that everyone has a different way of looking at life, and how important it is to remember this.

Margarita is the charming heroine, who, in childhood, is able to see what is right and wrong, and what is best, in that honest way that older eyes cannot know. She is accepting and perceptive, and penetrates reality with the young, privileged sincerity that so many lose as they grow.

Alfonso Ruano, the celebrated illustrator of Tricycle, proves himself again. Through the pictures, a clear contrast is created between the cool and sleek dwelling of the upper class, the dusty chicken yard next door, and the stark and unpredictable natural world that stretches obediently around us all, almost—but not quite—making us equal.

Though a clever and enchanting read, Tricycle goes beyond accessorized merriment, delving into something darker and more genuine, and frames a grungy, jarring portrait. Amado pieces together insignificant scraps of info to create a new, highly significant message.

Tricycle is a bold, original storybook, a masterpiece of delicate truths: extraordinary, easily deserving of five stars.

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