Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude

ISBN: 0802789471
ISBN 13: 9780802789471
By: Kevin O'Malley Carol Heyer Scott Goto

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Children Children's Books Childrens Fairy Tales Fantasy Humor Kids Picture Book Picture Books To Read

Reader's Thoughts

Tami Roberts

1st-5th Grade (Read Aloud or Independent Reading)This book was illustrated in a creative way; three different artists were used to tell this amusing story. Kevin O’Malley (also the author) used pen and digital color to draw the children telling the story; his drawings were used on a page by themselves or overlapping the story pictures drawn by Carol Heyer and Scott Goto. Heyer used acrylics to create the images of the princess and the girl’s portion of the story, while Goto used acrylics and oils for the motorcycle dude and the boy’s share of the story. The three distinct artistic styles were a very important part of the story. The text in this book is conveyed in a unique way also, four styles of text are used; each child has their own style of text in their personal text bubbles which are used while they’re talking to each other. There were also two different styles of text used during the separate parts of the story; the girl’s font was more delicate, like the illustrations and her story, while the boy’s was bolder like his segment of the story and his illustrations. Kids of all ages will enjoy this book, all children can relate to wanting something their own way and disagreeing with someone about it. Children, like the two from this book, love to tell stories, I think this can be appealing and an excellent learning tool. Also the unique style of illustrations would be intriguing to anyone who picks up “Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude.” I plan to use this book for many years to come in my classroom.Math/Science/Language ArtsLesson Plan Idea: Study and discuss the weather elements in this book, like lighting and volcanoes.

NS-Christine Johnson

This book is narrated by a boy and girl who can not agree on the fairytale they are going to tell their class! Their story includes a princess and her ponies, a motorcycle dude, and an ugly giant. The two take turns spinning this into a very interesting fairytale full of excitement!


Clever whimsical "battle" between a princess and a "cool" motorcycle dude as each attempts to tell their version of a fairy tale. I read this aloud to students in kindergarten through the sixth grade and, as they say, "a good time was had by all." Even adults will delight in the wit expressed through the dueling characters dialogue.Illustrations are appealing. Hope to see more from this author in the near future!

Judi Paradis

A girl and boy are paired to write a story together--the girls starts with a gooey story of princesses and ponies, which the boy then transforms into a tale of charging motorcycle dudes who battle dragons and giants. It takes a great (and unexpected) twist and turn to satisfy both genders and kids will get the joke. Probably the best book I've seen for talking about point of view.

G (galen)

Awesome!!! I'm a sucker for any book that has this phrase in it: "Princess Tenderheart goes to the gym and pumps iron. She becomes Princess Warrior."Great concept. Delightfully illustrated. My son, his little (female) friend, and I were all HIGHLY entertained.


The project is to tell the class about your pair's favorite fairy tale, but one girl and boy can't agree which they like best so they write their own. Three illustrators and one mishmashed tale later, everyone's having fun. Kevin O'Malley authored the story and provides the illustrations of our project pair. Carol Heyer provides the illustrations for the girl's portion of the fairy tale and Scott Goto provides the illustrations for the boy's portion of the fairy tale. While this might be tough for a read-aloud with the interjections from the boy and girl, it's great fun for a read-alone. Even I found the beginning (the girl's fairy tale) a bit twee and I like princesses and unicorns and while the boy swings a bit too far in the gross-out direction for my taste, I love the final melding of the tales. My favorite two spreads are when "Princess Tenderheart goes to the gym and pumps iron. She becomes Princess Warrior. She tells the dude to make his own thread." The illustrations that go with this are just priceless with the style staying true to the original fairy tale while the images show a Princess determined not to be left behind. What this reminds me of most were the serial stories we'd have to write in school. One person would start the story and another would continue it and another would finish it - this would be a great lead in to the same type of exercies if the interjections could be handled. It would also make pretty fun Readers' Theater.


When two students with vastly different interests are forced to write a story together they manage to collaborate while maintaining their individual styles. This book looks like a typical fairy tale with the exception of the cover art. Open the front page and it quickly becomes apparent this is not your traditonal story. Two protagonists engaged in a school report partnership quickly engage the reader with their clear and satirical version of events. Boys who immediately groan when you show them the cover are quickly engaged and both boys and girls get the jokes. This is a fun book and won the Washington Children's Choice award in 2007. Reviewed by:Library Media Connection (August/September 2005)This review is lukewarm at best pointing out that the girl changes from a passive to an active character while the boy doesn't change at all. While LMC may be correct when considering the deeper social message, students seem to appreciate the clear differences drawn between the way girls and boys look at events.Publishers Weekly (February 21, 2005)Both Library Media and Horn Books suggest this book is glib and sexist, Publishers Weekly points out the power of the bold colorful illustrations and the resulting cooperation that develops between protagonists to confound those expecting a traditional ending. Publishers Weekly suggests the book has a sophistication which could be used to lead a discussion on gender stereotyping and the benefits of teamwork. These reviews are interesting taken in their totality. They clearly point out how differently we as adults interpret humor and stereotypes.


What a FUN book :) It's about two kids - a boy and girl - who work together to create a story... taking a typical fairy tale and giving it a modern twist. The illustrations are fantastic! Can't wait to look for more by this author and illustrator :)


Wonderful read aloud. Even older elementary students will appreciate the humor! I read this to my Godson's class when he was in 2nd Grade and terrified I would embarrass him, but he was quite relieved when his class really enjoyed the book. This book goes back and forth between a girl and boy trying to tell a story - and not agreeing on every point, but coming together for an ending that satifies them both. SD

Mary Ann

Hilarious book - one of my kids' all-time favorites. Perfect for writing units, for perspective, for girl-boy tensions, and for all-out laughs.


I decided to read this book to a 6th grade class as a two reader book, because that is how the book is written. My library assistant and I took turns reading. After the initial reading, we will revisit this book for background knowledge of fairy tales. I will recommend this book to the drama teacher for "readers' theatre" and we will continue to explore it for plot characters and theme. The kids responded well, and we will do it again, and explore in depth.


Two kids are supposed to research a fairy tale and then report back to their class, but they couldn’t agree on one. So they made up their own, which has elements of all kinds of fairy tales. The girl partner starts the story, and it’s all flowery, princessy and beautiful. The boy partner interrupts half way through the story and brings in the motorcycle dude who is strong and tough (should I say ‘tuff’?). He tells for a bit, but then they begin to interrupt each other more and more, until they agree to work together to finish the story. This is a fun book, and readers will enjoy the power struggle between the two; girls will especially love the bit of girl-power that shows up partway through the telling. O’Malley did the classroom and student illustrations, and he partnered with two other illustrators to show when the girl was telling the story and when the boy was telling the story. This book would work really well for a tandem storytelling, if you ever have the chance.


This was a big hit with my ten and seven year old nephews and my four and seven year old nieces. I took it up to the lake house when they all were there, and they all loved it. The boys read and re-read it on their own, and the girls asked every adult willing to read them a story to read this book to them. I'll be grabbing the next book for next year's family vacation!


A book my 6 yr old as well as my twin 3 yr olds loved. A solid reading level 1 book, this cute story keeps all ages engaged with the bright colorful pictures and cute story. We loved the differences between boys and girls and how they fought over their choice of story topic. It was also nice to see the conflict resolution at the end with a compromise. A great addition to any children's library.


This book is narrated by two competing voices: a tweenie girl and boy. They jostle back and forth with very different ideas about what should happen in the course of the fairy tale they are telling. My first graders can pretty much recite it by heart. They can barely contain their collective excitement through to the end. Dudes...it is awesome.

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