What do many foreign films have in common? Main characters bicycling along scenic country roads! In the Italian movie, “The Postman” (Il Postino), the postman delivers, on his bicycle, letters to Pablo Neruda. In “The Lunchbox,” the “dabbawala” delivers home cooked lunches to the city workers in Mumbai, India. In “Greenfingers,” the main character delivers flowers on his bicycle in a small English village.
Many foreign films take place in countries where the bicycle is used primarily as transportation, including Corsica, where in “Queen to Play,” Helene, a chambermaid, rides her bicycle to work along winding roads with the ocean as a backdrop. In “As it is in Heaven,” one of my favorite movies, Lena teaches Daniel to ride a bicycle, along Swedish country roads.
It’s no wonder that when I bicycle around the island after watching one of these wonderful movies, I feel like I’m still in a movie, a wonderful transition from movie world to home life.
The Long Island Community Library has a nice selection of foreign films in the collection, including some of the ones mentioned above.
I just heard, from a librarian friend, about a great program in Cambridge, Massachusetts: Book Bike. Librarians ride around on bikes loaded with books and park in a designated park at a designated time to give kids free books. Their logo is:
Delivering books and a love of reading in Cambridge, ma.
All children in Cambridge will have access to quality literature to build home libraries for enjoyment and learning outside of the academic year.
- The Book Bike supports healthy bodies and healthy minds by visiting many of the Cambridge parks that participate in the Summer Food Program.
- Meeting families in the park for stories and activities, the Book Bike models that reading is fun!
- The program empowers children of all ages to choose their own free book, selected by literacy professionals to encourage reading in summer months. Books include a wide variety of titles, topics and languages.
- The Book Bike connects families to other programs that support summer reading in Cambridge including the local public library.
What can be better – to combine exercise (at least for the librarians) and book reading, as well as being in a park on a beautiful sunny day. (And food and snacks provided)
For more information: