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Gracie Goat's Big Bike Race

Last updated Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Author: Erin Mirabella
Illustrator: Lisa Horstman
Date of Publication: 2007
ISBN: 1931382883
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2007

Synopsis: From Amazon.com: When Howard Horse invites his friends to a bike competition, everyone is excited — except Gracie Goat. She doesn't know how to ride a bike, and is so scared she refuses to try. Fortunately her Grandma convinces her to face her fears. Children will relate to Gracie's self-doubt as well as her persistence in this sensitive, upbeat story featuring colorful images by award-winning illustrator Lisa Horstman. The book includes fitness tips for children to put into practice as they play.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do goats ride bikes? Who rides bikes?
•  Who has a bike? Do you like to ride a bike?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What is Gracie’s secret? Do Gracie’s friends know her secret?
•  Who is going to be in the bike race?
•  Why is Gracie sad?
•  What is Gracie afraid of? Have you ever been afraid to learn something new?
•  Who encourages Gracie to learn to ride her bike? Has anyone ever encouraged you to learn how to do something new?
•  What is Gracie’s grandma afraid to do?
•  What deal does Gracie’s grandma make with Gracie?
•  Does Gracie make mistakes learning to ride her bike? Does she keep practicing anyway?
•  Is Gracie excited about the bike race now? Why?
•  Why does Gracie help Howard?
•  Did Gracie win the race? Was she upset about not winning? Who won?
•  How do you feel when you win or lose?
•  Did Gracie’s grandma get her ears pierced?

Craft ideas:
•  Make animal masks of the animal characters in the book. Afterwards, have a race with the masks.
•  Draw a picture of your favorite character in the book and their bicycle.
•  Make a jersey for your own team out of construction paper. Come up with your own team name.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!