Last November I went to the ACT Conference in Mississauga, Ontario. At one of the break-out sessions, I listened to a Pecha Kucha series (I did one too) and listened to Luis Patricio from London, ON. He gave a very entertaining talk about the installation of Ecocounter bike counters. Luis is originally from Brazil.
Before Luis came to Canada, he was a communications associate at the Grao Saber association in Curitiba Area, Brazil and obtained a Masters at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana. More recently, in Canada, he was active at the Thames Region Ecological Association and as a School Travel Planner Coordinator.
The Yellow Bicycle
Recently, Luis emailed me about an illustrated book called: “Yellow Bicycle”. The book tells a story of a girl that rides a bicycle with her mom. The mother inspires the girl to see cycling as a means of transportation, rather than a toy. It is lovingly illustrated by Beto França.
Igor Colares, the author of the Yellow Bicycle, of Fluxo Studio in Recife, thought it was time to write a children’s book about the bicycle. So he contacted coordinator Daniel Valença of Ameciclo, the Greater Recife Metropolitan Association of cyclists, who was really enthusiastic about the project right from the start, and they rolled out the project. Both Igor and Daniel are year-round cyclists in Recife, a city with almost 2 million people (density: 7100 people/km2 as opposed to Ottawa with 334 people/km2). With weather that appears to be between 20-30C (70-90F) year round, year round cycling sounds great.
The book shows that we can tell a different story and have different possibilities. It is another small step towards normalizing cycling as a transportation mode in cities throughout the world.
Says Luis: “After all those decades of pollution, traffic jams, road fatalities, high-cost infrastructure and community disintegration; cars still play a major role in cartoons, movies, comic books and collective imagination. The Yellow Bicycle book has a powerful message that resonates almost anywhere in the world. We have too many cars and the bicycle can be part of the solution.”
Ironically, one of the first books I ever got was ” De Gele Taxi”, I must have been 3-4 years old and apparently I loved it. It was a translation from a 1946 book by L. Sprague Mitchell called “The taxi that hurried”. Someone even put the entire book on YouTube (in English – 12 minutes).
One of the supporters is an elementary school teacher. She’s been using the book to tell a story about cycling in the cities to her grade one and two students and they loved it.
Crowdfunding in Canada
Currently, he is looking for support to print and ship the Yellow Bicycle in Canada, originally published in Brazil. The translation has been done already, but it is a matter of financing now. Therefore, Luis set up a crowdfunding page. He is only looking for 5000 dollars, all going towards the cost of printing the book.
The book was already published in Portuguese through a similar crowdfunding process in 2016 and it was supported by hundreds of people who shared Igor’s vision.
“Now”, says Luis, “we want to share this story in English too and we need your support to print the books”.
Go to the crowd funding page and don’t forget to check out the cool T-shirt: Help crowdfunding at get a book