By: Phyllis Andrews ISBN: 1-4196-6042-X Dimensions (inches): 6.25 x 9.25 (159 x 236 mm) Publisher: BookSurge Publishing, 2007
26 pages, Color Illustrations by Nathan Rea Available From: Amazon.com (Hardcover or Paperback)
Here’s a rather unusual webBikeWorld book review; Motorcycle Matt is a children’s book designed for very young readers and budding motorcyclists.
Phyllis Andrews kindly sent us the book, and although I don’t have children of my own, we have a veritable nursery on my block so it was very easy to get a neighborhood full of comments from Moms and kids.
Strangely enough, we also have more than twice as many motorcycles as we do homes in this small neighborhood out in the country, with 13 bikes that I can count and only 20 homes on the cul-de-sac. So the little ones are very used to seeing a constant stream of cruisers, Sportbikes, Adventure Tourers and even classics riding up and down at all hours of the day and night.
You might just say that this is a perfect proving ground for Motorcycle Matt! The book has a simple theme that, like many successful children’s books, has a bit of a twist to make it interesting.
Motorcycle Matt is in elementary school, but dreams about motorcycles. His teacher wants him to read the typical 1st Grade fare (“See…the…Cat”), but Matt’s a pretty smart lad, so his Mom takes him to the store to buy a motorcycle book. It turns out that the words are very small, and Matt has some difficulty reading the more advanced book.
But he works through it, brings the book to school and enchants his fellow students with tales of motorcycles. Once he has learned all about motorcycles from the book, he wants to ride one, and his Dad helps him do just that.
The consensus is that the book is lots of fun for beginning readers, and I must say that I get a kick from reading it myself! The illustrations are perfect, and they remind me very much of my collection of “Golden Books” when I was a kid.
The story is simple enough for young readers, yet it has a couple of twists that I think will keep them interested. It also has a not-so-subliminal message that says that books are interesting; if you work at it, you’ll be able to get through the “See Jane Run” and get to the good stuff; and that dreams can indeed come true, especially with the help of a supportive teacher, friends, Mom and Dad.
How it does all this in 26 pages with very few words is the magic. Phyllis Andrews is a reading specialist “whose students have been known to skip two reading levels in one year”, and she wrote the book to both develop an interest in reading and to help develop fluency.
If you have a youngster just learning to read or if you know someone who does, Motorcycle Matt would make a great gift!