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KS1 Book Club: Frank and Bert by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros (Nosy Crow)

...The One Where Bert Learns to Ride a Bike

Illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros (super talented chap!)

For ages 2-5

You know when you're totally a kids books fan for life when you spend most of 2022 looking forward to a new picture book sequel publishing in early January... Well here it is, this is what I've been looking forward to and keeping everything crossed for in the picture book world and it's more than met my expectations. With this being the first KS1 book club at my primary school this term, I couldn't think of a better way to begin our sessions for 2023. Joy!

Starting a new book club cycle is a little nerve-racking, as you never know whether the children have enjoyed last term's book clubs enough to want to re-book. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with a healthy quota with 2 newcomers even, but at the same time, slightly sad - as for the first time EVER, I have NO BOYS!!!! I'm still in shock, to be honest with you. Regardless, we chorused and threw our hands in the air with lots of loud "YAY"s to celebrate and welcome our new members when they told us why they wanted to join book club due their love of reading and books.

To the book... Frank and Bert are the very best of friends. They're kind, supportive and care about each other a lot. Frank is the yin to Bert's yang... an ode to how different people balance each other out and bring out the best in each other. In this new story, it's time for Bert to learn to ride a bike. I asked for hands up who can ride a bike... half the group are still on stabilisers. Good choice in book then!

Frank really wants Bert to go bike riding with him. However, Bert's quite wobbly on a bike, and then has an unfortunate tumble off his bike. Frank encourages him to try again and not to give up by reassuring him that he'd be right behind him, holding onto the back - a tactic that works for many a parent when teaching their kid to ride, right?... then you let go? There were some nervous gasps in the room at this point in the story. Bert falls off again and he' feels really let down by Frank! He exclaims that he's NEVER going to ride again!

Frank, being such a good buddy, doesn't give up so easily and invents a two seater so they can still cycle together, but this time he does the pedalling for the both of them. A few hills later and Frank's puffed out... only if Bert takes over cycling them both will they get back home! It's amazing what you accomplish when you're doing something nerve-wracking for someone you care about; suddenly all your anxiety goes out of the window.

Not only is this a fun and endearing story, children are thoroughly invested in the ups and downs, the giggle-worthy and not-quite-as-giggle-worthy mishaps. Readers are willing Frank and Bert to succeed all the way. As the saying goes: try, try and try again... but I think, it's even better when a friend is there to help you succeed and cheer you all the way.

We all loved this story and afterwards we got to having some fun with one of my tailor-made 'Frank and Bert' activity sheets. Scroll down a bit further to find out more and download it for free if you'd like to use it too!

Here's the first few pages of the story... enjoy!

Creative fun

Inspired by the story, the children and I talked about how friends can be there for each other, to support each other when learning new things. My activity sheet asks the children to think of an activity and either draw or write about it. We had some great

Download my FREE activity sheet

The Kids Books Curator_KS1 Book Club_Frank and Bert_Jan2023
Download PDF • 269KB

P.S. 27 Jan 2023: Nosy Crow have now published their official 'Frank and Bert: The One Where Bert Learns to Ride a Bike' activity sheets. You can download them here:

- Nicci x

About the creator

Chris Naylor-Ballesteros (author + illustrator)

Chris is originally from Bradford and studied illustration and graphic design at Bradford College of Art. In 2000 he moved to France where, amongst other things, he was an English teacher before working in newspaper layout and design.

When his children were small he realised he loved the picture books he read to them, sometimes even more than his children did – the Picture Book Bug had truly bitten. Chris has since written and illustrated several books and is currently thinking about the next one, probably with a cuppa in hand at home near Limoges.

He likes listening to and making music, wandering around the countryside, a bit of running and riding a bike. His favourite season is autumn and his favourite colour is green.

Key themes


learning to ride a bike



Grab a copy

Buy here through my affiliate link at or purchase from your local independent bookshop...

Also available in Hardback

Publication date: 12 January 2023

Format: Hardback/Paperback

Also available in the awesome 'Frank and Bert' series by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros:

Also available in Hardback

Check out my review

Please like this post and leave me a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts too!

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