Books ó Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude


Bikers, giants, damsels...And the narrators lived happily ever after


Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, by Kevin OíMalley, Carol Heyer and Scott Goto; Walker & Co., 2005, 32 pages.


By Lisa Parsons

On the first page of Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, a sweet cartoon girl and a gruff cartoon boy explain what weíre about to read. Itís the fairy tale they made up together for a school project.

For the first few pages, the girl narrates the story, a tale of a delicate princess and her pony named Buttercup.

When the boy canít stand it anymore, he takes over narrating. Now a huge biker enters the story as Buttercupís bodyguard and encounters a smelly giant with a yen for pony stew.

Our young cartoon narrators seem to be making this up as they go along.

They continue taking turns and in the end, although they remain opposed on certain matters like love and marriage, they create a story they both like, showing us once again that boys and girls can live together in harmony but not without a whole lot of stereotypes.

So the messages are not especially new: girls like ponies, boys like motorcycles, girls want to get married and have babies, boys donít, youíve heard it all before.

And yet. Theyíre working together on a fairy tale. They come to a mutual accommodation ending in a high-five. The princess pumps iron and the boy at least has a biker dude for a hero rather than, say, an armed commando, and the whole point of the storyís ending is that nobody, boy or girl, is going to sit around making gold thread while the other one gets the glory.

Somewhat standard artwork, not a lot happening on each page and the story is short and sweet, but itís a happily-ever-after to like.

2005 HippoPress LLC | Manchester, NH