May is National Bike Month. Celebrate by reading a picture book on biking. The usuals are the bike themed Curious George, Franklin, Arthur, Ruby and Max, Bear on a Bike, etc… but I was looking for a few more. There are surprisingly only a few books specifically on bikes, and most of them are not all that great. Hey, all you writers, we need a great bike book! If you have any suggestions for great bike read alouds, send them to me.

Here are a few books I found that were all right, but not amazing. I didn’t find that one bbook that is perfect. Probably the reason I don’t have a bike storytime yet. Don’t forget to mix in a few nonfiction that include bike safety!

Best Bike Ride Ever by James ProimosThe Best Bike Ride Ever by James Proimos, illustrated by Johanna Wright. Dial Books, 2012.

Bonnie finally gets a bike after begging for one. But she takes off before her parents show her how to stop. Bonnie can’t stop biking and a hyperbolic journey through the country’s landmarks ensue. This part was funny and the pictures are great, but these pages should have rhymed. That would have made it perfect. She finally stops when she crashes into her brother’s toys outside. And then the scene pans out and we see that the landmarks were different toys they set up (neat). After she crashes, mom gives her a Band-Aid and a hug and her dad shows her the breaks. And it ends in a circular plot because next Bonnie wants a pony (she just doesn’t tell anyone yet). Not spectacular, but not bad. Could be used in a bike story time.

A Big Boy Now by SpinelliA Big Boy Now by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Megan Lloyd. Harper, 2012.

Not Spinelli’s greatest work, but still rhythmic and cute. A bunny goes through all of the things that he can do now that he is a self-proclaimed big boy. The text does not rhyme, but the sets of three abilities and the repetition of “I’m a big boy now” makes the text flow and keeps it moving. The bunny and his friend decide to remove the training wheels from his bike. He bikes but then wobbles and falls and runs to his mom. His mother tells him that sometimes his dad will run to her to when he’s having a problem. So the bunny decides to leave his training wheels off and practice biking because he is a big boy. I like the message that everyone has to learn things to get where they are, or become a big boy. But, I’d still say this would be an extra purchase.

New Red Bike by James RansomeNew Red Bike by James E. Ransome. Holiday House, 2011.

This is just a simple book about Sam who has a new red bike and goes to his friend’s house to show off his new present. Sam knocks on the door and no one is home. He turns around to find his bike gone and looks for it until his friend zooms up on. Initially angry his friend stole his bike, they start to share and take turns until his friend’s parents appear with a blue bike for him. Not outstanding, but a solid book on bike safety and sharing toys with friends for the preschool age (even though the characters are obviously older). There are only about one or two sentences per page.

Off We Go by Will HillenbrandOff We Go by Will Hillenbrand. Holiday House, 2013.

Bear helps Mole take the training wheels off his bike and get ready. Bear pushes off Mole and Mole attempts to bike. He falls off and cries, deciding to quit, but Bear encourages him to try again. He does, and despite almost crashing into many things and making a crash landing at his final destination, Mole is happy with his efforts. This is a simple story in the Bear and Mole series. Emphasizing friendship, encouragement, and perseverance. The page turns are a little suspenseful, but this is a gentle story to read to kids learning to bike by themselves for the first time.