Pedal-Powered Adventures: Best Kids’ Books About Bikes

One of the best things about the weather getting warmer is how easy it is to get outside. Biking has always been one of my kids favorite activities. When they were younger it was a great way to get some exercise and have fun. And as they got older their bikes became a way to have a little independence. Read these books with your bike-loving kids of all ages! 

Chris Raschka is one of the masters of gentle books for preschoolers. His Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bike features a father showing his daughter how to ride a bike. It uses minimal words and simple watercolor illustrations but kids will completely understand the story.

Another minimalist bike-themed book for preschoolers is Along a Long Road by Frank Viva. Using only five colors with a spare graphic style and very simple language, we follow a man on a bike ride through various landscapes. 

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon is probably my all time favorite bike themed kid’s book. I read it roughly four bazillions times with my kids from the ages of 3-10. The story is simple: a duck finds a bike and takes it for a spin. As he passes by each barnyard animal the text shows what they are thinking. (Cat: “I wouldn’t waste MY time riding a bike.) The illustrations are bright and appealing and the whole story is just perfectly silly. 

In Fox and the Bike Ride by Corey Tabor the fox is bored of the same old thing on the animals’ annual bike ride. So he decides to make some modifications to their tandem bicycle and have some adventures. They end up traveling from the clouds to the forest to the ocean. 

The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett tells the story of a young girl who sees a new bike in a store window. She goes home to check her piggy bank and realizes she doesn’t have enough money. She goes to her neighbors to see if she can earn money from them but they all turn her away except one old lady.

Wild Blue: Taming a Big-Kid by Dashka Slater looks at the fear kids can have of moving from a three-wheeled bike to a two-wheeler and what a major milestone this can be for kids. Kayla, loves her pink “pony” (a tricycle) but one day her Dad tells her it’s time to move up to a two-wheeler. She is thrown from this new “steed” over and over again but eventually tames Wild Blue and learns to ride again. 

When I was a kid, I had a bike I named Ladybug. I can still remember how sad I was to outgrow her. Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best also features a girl who has a beloved bike, Flash, that she outgrows. She doesn’t know how to get a new one but she ends up figuring out (with some help) how to make a new bike by collecting old bike parts and she gives Flash to a young boy who needs a bike for his own. 

A similar story is told in The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle by Jude Isabella. But this story for older elementary school aged kids looks at Big Red, a bike owned by a young boy named Leo in North America. When Leo outgrows Big Red, he donates it to an organization that ships bicycles to Africa. We follow the bike first to Burkina Faso where it finds a home with Alisetta, who uses it to access her family’s sorghum field and the market, and then over time to Haridata, who uses it to deliver medication and transport people to the hospital. 

Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson tells the true story of a young boy, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, from Ghana, West Africa who was born with one deformed leg. As a young boy he hopped to school (over two miles each way), played soccer, and eventually learned to ride a bike.  He rode four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001 and continues to work on behalf of the disabled today.