Book review: Bike & Trike

Bike & Trike is a lovely 48-page picture book by children’s book author Elizabeth Verdick. Follow the story of Trike, a lonely outgrown tricycle who meets his replacement, the exuberant and somewhat reckless Bike. The action-packed tale will keep young readers (ages 4-7) on the edges of their seats with a bike race that’s a scoop of The Little Engine That Could with a dash of The Tortoise and the Hare and a pinch of Yoda and Luke. Not only does everything work out OK, but the ending is unexpectedly sweet.

Bike & Trike isn’t only for bike-loving parents and their kids, it’s also a classic story about conflict resolution and could be a useful tool in anyone’s toolbox for helping kids navigate transition…or just for dealing with siblings. I see shades of my kids in Bike and Trike and it brings back memories of clashes with my own little brother a lifetime ago. It’s a good book for accompanying kids making the leap from one wheeled vehicle to the next, but having a beloved book to refer back to during any tricky time is a boon. (“Remember how both Bike and Trike crashed and then got right back up?”)

It’s got a great read-aloud cadence right from the start:

Trike is a rusty little fellow,
a trusty little fellow,
on three worn-down wheels.

Warning: “summer bees, skinned knees” might just get stuck in your head, too.

The illustrations by Brian Biggs are an adorable mix of correct bike anatomy and whimsy. I’m quite smitten by Trike’s spindle of a seatpost and Bike’s stylish head- and tail light that float in the air above his fenders. Lights and fenders?! Yep! Bike commuters will love that Bike’s a practical bike with dynamo lights, fenders, and a horn.

See more about the book, including a colorful preview, online ordering information, and printable coloring sheet at the author’s website.

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