Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen

Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen

Spring 2006 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Cari Best
Illustrator: Christine Davenier
ISBN: 0374363862
Hardcover Price: $16.00
Sally Jean Sprockett, self-named “Bicycle Queen,” is the bundle of energy at the heart of Cari Best's new picture book. Sally Jean is such a cycling fan that she becomes best friends with her first two-wheeler, naming it “Flash” and declaring, “I can't just call you 'Bike'.” For more than three years, girl and bike are inseparable. But when she outgrows her beloved Flash and can't afford to buy a new one, the enterprising eight-year-old comes up with an ingenious plan that has everyone cheering. Sally Jean is a spunky heroine whose can-do attitude sets a good example about learning new skills and practicing self-reliance—not to mention physical activity. The adults are also strong role models—for example, both Mom and Dad teach Sally Jean about bicycle repair and maintenance rather than just fixing things for her. Christine Davenier's watercolors capture Sally Jean's energy and drive, using pops of red on each page to help set the tone. This is a terrific book for little pedal-pushers, and an especially good choice for girls of all interests.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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