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Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude Hardcover – April 1, 2005
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Gr. 3-5. A girl and a boy create a fairy tale in this lively picture book. The girl starts first, with a story about a princess and her eight ponies, while the boy interjects comments: "Please . . . don't call [the pony] Buttercup." When the boy has had enough, he steps in with a sword-wielding, motorcycle-riding hero who battles a giant, while the princess is assigned the boring job of making thread. Fed up with these developments, the girl delivers the final plot twist, turning her princess into a warrior who sends the giant scurrying back to his cave. The fun in this picture book comes in the contrasting styles of the illustrations, which include contributions from Carol Heyer and Scott Goto. The girl's story features bright colors, flowers, and long golden locks, while the boy's story is done in the dark, taut-muscled style of comic books. Throughout, O'Malley depicts the girl and the boy^B reacting to the twists of the plot. A funny take on the age-old battle of the sexes, with an ending suited for the new millennium. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From the Inside Flap
Once upon a time there was ... a princess who loved all her beautiful ponies, a cool muscle dude who rode an awesome motorcycle. But a giant came and started stealing them! The dude came to fight the ugly, smelly giant with his mighty sword. She turned gold into thread while she cried for Buttercup, her favorite pony. And he took the princess's gold thread for payment The end!
Wait a minute! That's not how it ends!
Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl who had to tell a fairy tale to the class, but they couldn't agree on the story. Will everyone live happily ever after?
During the first ten years of Kevin O'Malley's life, he didn't care about the difference between girls and boys. Over the next ten, he found out that there was a big difference. After ten more years (and marriage), Kevin discovered that the difference is really, really huge. Another ten years and two children later, Kevin wrote Once Upon A Cool Motorcycle Dude. He still has no clue about girls.
Carol Heyer used to argue with the boys in her class about important things like princesses and giants, so she enjoyed collaborating on this dueling boy and girl story. Now Carol is a full-time writer and illustrator whose books have sold over a million copies.
Scott Goto thinks illustrating a story about a dude who battles giants with a bike and a big sword is the perfect way to start the day. However, the only bike he has is pedal powered, and he fought a giant once in school and got squashed. But he does own a big sword.
Top customer reviews
A boy and a girl, partners for a class project, are supposed to retell their favorite to the class. However, they could not agree on a story, so they decide to instead tell their own, combining the adventures of a sweet princess and a muscle-bound guy on a motorcycle. The two sides of the story play off of each wonderfully as the kids banter.
Not only is it funny and all three illustration styles fantastic, but it's a clever exercise in voice. Even the fonts change.
This is a delight to read. I can't wait to share it with my class.
I have since read this to my class. This is the second book in three years of teaching where my class demanded a reread immediately after the book was finished.
I made the mistake of loaning it to another teacher. My class nearly rebelled when it wasn't on their shelf for their own perusing.
Yes, 1st grade age can appreciate this book.
The beginning of the book does seem to put the kids in the color-coded toy aisles, but then there a shift, and the story becomes far more interesting. The two wildly divergent stories merge into one very fun story.
And the artwork for the story again seems to be from two competitive art styles, that, by the end work very well together.