I discovered Maria Monte through her first book, Eve’s Ducklings, last year, and I’m pleased to be able to share her second picture book with you today! Ellery’s Magic Bicycle is the story of a girl named Ellery who discovers an abandoned bicycle which is more than what it seems. The two companions build an unlikely friendship with one another, welcoming a third into their bond as time passes. Taking place over the span of several years, the bike grows with Ellery and helps her learn some important life lessons along the way. Heartwarming and whimsical, this is a charming story for families to read aloud together. Please see my full review below!
Can a bicycle ever be more than what it appears? One day, a young girl named Ellery is exploring the nearby landscape when she stumbles upon an abandoned purple bicycle. The bicycle unexpectedly communicates with Ellery, and the two invite one another into their lives. Every day, the newfound companions spend time together, teaching one another the importance of friendship and support through their shared experiences. True to the magic within, the bicycle grows and shifts along with Ellery, but when it becomes forgotten in Ellery’s shed, the bicycle wonders whether it will ever again be the friend it once was. Many children believe in the anthropomorphic nature of their prized possessions, whether it is a teddy bear, a blanket, or in this case, a bicycle. Ellery’s story is one that, while requiring a suspension of disbelief in the bicycle’s transformations, lovingly captures the profound love a child can have for a special plaything. Limited text is used to tell Ellery’s story, leaving ample opportunity for discussion and contemplation to fill in what happens as time passes. Cheerful colors adorn the illustrations, which comprise the majority of each page and help connect younger readers to Ellery’s story. Because the narrative stretches over more than one decade of time, the images are often used to depict the changing of seasons or the progression of years. Children and adults alike will appreciate the nostalgic sentiments present in this book, and reading it together will no doubt inspire conversation about treasured keepsakes of one’s own. This is a charming addition to bedtime storytime collections for families with young children.
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