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A Review of the Book, Sally Jean the Bicycle Queen 
By Cari Best (Illustrated by Christine Davenier) 

By Gianna Bellofatto

Our "Life Is a Bike" columnist takes a spin on the latest bike book for children ages 4-8... 

The bicycling saga of Sally Jean from little baby on mom’s bike to riding her own bike (which she names “Flash”) has all the ingredients to make the audience rally for Sally Jean. She outgrows “Flash” but not the desire to ride. For this is a little girl who was born to ride a bicycle...but whose circumstances make it difficult for her to own a new one. 

Cari Best creates a story and character that will have readers feeling sad, hopeful and happy every step of Sally Jean’s journey from being without a bike to finding a way to own a proper size bicycle. The illustrations are loose and colorful which do not overpower the text. Instead, they compliment the sentiments of the story. 

Young readers will learn the importance of working for something they really want. How being creative and resourceful can help them achieve goals. And that a bicycle is a prized possession. It fosters independence, good health and the lighthearted spirit of bicycling.

Sally Jean will make feminists proud! She has both the “can do” attitude and the heart of a carefree cyclist—a combination that will win your approval and make you want to jump on your own bike and go, go, go...“Sally Jean the Bicycle Queen” is a royal ride! 

The Book...
Sally Jean the Bicycle Queen (2006), written by Cari Best and illustrated by Christine Davenier, is published by 
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York. It's ISBN is 0-374-36386-2.

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