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.


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.


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 was very cute, and I love the illustrations! "Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude" is about two children telling a fairytale together, but each has their own ideas about how the story should go. The little girl favors beautiful princesses and ponies, while the little boy brings in a "cool motorcycle dude" to beat up the nasty giant. The best part of the book are the illustrations, which were done by three different people. One illustrator drew the figures of the girl and boy, one drew the little girl's side of the story, and the last drew the little boy's side of the story. Children (and parents) will enjoy this book.


Remember that email that circulated around the Internet about a man and a woman in college that had to do a writing exercise together for a college course? Well imagine that email as a picture book and the college students are in elementary instead and you have the hilarious Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O'Malley. The title alone is enough to make you pick up this book, but the competing illustration styles to match the competing stories are enough to make you stay. Now layer on a funny story that exploits the differences between male and female stories and you have a brilliant picture book that is perfect for junior and intermediate students. Teachers will also love to use this book to illustrate the writing process.


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.

Ange (MarmaladeLibby of Libby Blog) Schmelzer

Once upon a time there was a boy & a girl who had to tell a story together...will this end happily ever after? This is the coolest book! I bought it in both my high school & middle school libraries because it is a great creative, collaborative writing starter for the English classroom! If you are a School Librarian or teach English, this book is a must to have on hand! So fun!


This book is SO fun to read! WE have read it every day this week, and I didn't get tired of reading it even 5 times in one day. Though I'm sure it's designed for an older age group, even my two-year-old LOVED it, especially the wet, stinky feet page :) Two kids share their favorite fairy tale story they made up....but they disagree on what is the "cool" story. Very fun to read....especially in different voices.


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

Suzie Q

What happens when a tween boy and a tween girl can't agree on a fairytale plot? A very creative story! I absolutely adore this book. The story is entertaining, and the three different styles of art flow together wonderfully. I checked this one out from the library, but I will be adding it to my collection very soon.

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.


I found this book two years ago while volunteering at the Center for Children's Books. Funniest kids' book ever! It's a fairy tale told a little boy and girl with very different ideas of how the story should proceed. Hysterical!


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.


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.

Shelley larson

Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude is a new fairy tale told by two kids: a boy and a girl. The illustrators use different types of pictures depending on who is telling the story. The girl's version of the fairytale involves a princess and her ponies while the boy's tells of giants and motorcycle dudes. This story was slightly entertaining, but I enjoyed the pictures more than the story. Genre: picture bookCopyright: 2005

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