Books for Beginner Bike Lovers
There is something intrinsically appealing about bike books. Bikes remind me of warm sunny days and the wonderful feeling of freedom and exploration. I think I share that trait with most of the younger population. What little kid doesn't like to go out and ride their bike?
Finding a good book about bikes and bike riding can be a great way to draw in active reluctant readers as well as established book lovers. They can also be useful for teaching kids how to ride bikes and building confidence for beginner riders.
Here are a few that I have enjoyed:
Along a Long Road by Frank Viva
I am always looking for picture books that are linguistically simple but still tell a story and this book fits the bill. As the title suggests, this book is about a man traveling along a road on a bike enjoying the day.
I appreciate the simplicity of the story, but the illustrations are what really stands out. Everything in the background is blue or black, which makes the yellow road and the red shirt on the bike-riding man stand out. Even better, the yellow road that runs throughout is made of a different material than the rest of the page. So fun!
If you like this title check out Young Frank, Architect also by Frank Viva, or for similar illustrations, try Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman.
Ben Rides On by Matt Davies
Titular character Ben is enjoying his new bike immensely until the school bully takes it from him. Later, Ben is reunited with his prized possession tangled in a tree, only to discover the bully hanging off a cliff nearby. He then has to decide whether or not to help his sworn enemy. While fairly predictable, this story is very cute, colorful, and fun with a good overall message without being overly sappy.
If you are looking for another picture book that deals with bullies try I'm Big by Kate McMullan.
Duck On A Bike by David Shannon
From the author of the popular No David!, comes this colorful book full of bike riding farm animals. Duck decides to ride a bike and after a bit of wobbling proceeds to fly by all of his barnyard friends inciting them to try their hand at bike riding. My favorite part of the story is the personality woven into each of the animals responses to their friend Duck riding by on a bike.
If you are looking for other books about intrepid barnyard animals, try Click, Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin or Moo! by David LaRochelle.
Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka
This book is your standard "how to" picture book but there are several things that I think make it stand out from the crowd. First of all, I really liked that it went through the whole process, from picking out a bike to training wheels to two wheels.
So many bike books focus on just the taking off the training wheels part; I appreciated reading through the entire journey. Also the main character falls off the bike more than once!
This is something that always bugs me about "how to" books: They normally have one failure and then the skill is totally mastered. Not in this book! The girl falls several times before successfully zooming off the page. Cute and to the point.
If you are looking for more books that talk about the merits of persistence try The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. If you are looking for another "how to" bike book try Froggy Rides a Bike by Jonathan London or D.W. Rides Again! by Marc Brown.
My Rows and Piles of Coins by Tololwa M. Mollel
In this book, Saruni saves up his weekly allowance to buy a bicycle. Set in Tanzania, the message of this book is universal: Every kid will understand wanting something as badly as Saruni wants the bike. It also has a great message of the rewards of patience and hard work- even if the reward wasn't exactly what you thought it would be.
If you liked this title, check out Me and My Bike by Ander or The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett.