Updated: Bike books for the training wheel set

I’ve just added more books that were recommended by readers. Thanks, and enjoy! — Elly


Kids love books about bikes!
(Photo © J. Maus)

The kid’s bookshelf at the BikePortland Bookstore is growing rapidly. We’ve rounded up a stack of recommendations that have come to us from biking families all over Portland.

These new additions are all picture books and simple story books that will be fun and inspirational for very young kids. Do you have any favorites which don’t appear here? How about bike-related books for older kids and teens?

Via the links below, you can order books to be shipped to you — or better yet, pick them up by bike! Just choose the “In-Store Pickup” option at checkout to have the books held for you at any Powell’s location.

This is all part of our ongoing effort to not just spread knowledge and our love for all things bike (and urban planning, transportation, carfree issues, etc…), but to raise a bit of cash to keep BikePortland in the black.

Bike books for the little kids

Mrs. Armitage on Wheels

by Quentin Blake

A wonderful illustrated work by Quentin Blake. Mrs. Armitage has so many ideas for improvements and accessories for her bicycle that the whole thing eventually collapses (but not until she adds the mast and sail). Note: this book ships separately from the UK.

Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen

by Cari Best

This is the exuberant tale of Sally Jean and her bicycle, “Flash.” They ride everywhere, singing and rhyming. When Sally Jean starts to outgrow Flash she is sad at first –but then learns to build a new bicycle for herself. A reader wrote in about this book: “It’s awesome! My 4-year old daughter was inspired to ride.”

Curious George Rides a Bike

by H.A. Rey

Curious George gets on a bicycle for his new job — delivering newspapers. As you can imagine, he gets into a little bit of trouble along his route.

Bears on Wheels

by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Another great Berenstain Bears book — remember those? This one is heavy on the pictures, low on the text, and offers a colorful parade of bears on one wheel, two wheels, and many more bicycle wheels.

The Bike Lesson

by Stan and Jan Berenstain

“When Brother Bear gets a brand-new bike, he’s all set to ride it — that is, after Papa Bear shows him the rules of the road.” For ages 4 to 8.

Mike and the Bike

by Michael Ward

I don’t know much about this title, but it comes highly recommended from a reader. Foreword by Lance Armstrong; and the book comes with an audio CD narrated by sports journalist Phil Liggett.

Red Ranger Came Calling

by Berkeley Breathed

The inimitable Berkeley Breathed — who has moved on from decades of creating hilarious and sometimes racy political cartoons to a career in children’s books — has drawn and written this story of a lonely boy, living on a Pacific Northwest island, who only wants a Red Ranger Bike for Christmas. And he gets it — but in an unexpected package. This one’s entertaining for you as well as your kiddos.

Angelina’s Birthday

by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig

Angelina is a young mouse who loves riding her bicycle all over town. On her birthday, she and her friend Alice ride to pick up her birthday cake — but she hits a rock and her bicycle is broken! I won’t give away the end.

Duck on a bike

by David Shannon

Duck loves riding a bike, despite scorn from the other animals on the farm. But his example convinces them they can ride too, and they all ride off together. Witty book by a Caldecott Award winning author.

Froggy Rides a Bike

by Jonathan London

Froggy is the star of a popular kids’ book series, in which he gets dressed, plays soccer, and now…tries out bike riding. He falls off many times, but keeps getting back on, and soon enough he’s having so much fun he doesn’t want to stop riding.

Bear on a Bike

by Stella Blackstone

Bear also goes by train, raft, rocket, and many other modes. Danica Maus’s top pick.

Super Grandpa

by David M. Shwartz

“A thrilling picture book based on the true story of Gustaf Hakannson’s historic bike ride. In 1951, at age 66, Gustaf entered the Tour of Sweden–over the judges’ objections–and, to the delight of his countrymen, finished first!”

Lance in France

by Ashley Maceachern

Local writer — and former Nike executive, and friend of Lance — has created a funny kids’ picture book about Lance Armstrong.

Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist

by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome

A biography for kids aged 6 to 10 about Marshall “Major” Taylor’s youth. As a 13 year old African American in 1890, Taylor battled the odds and went on to become a world champion bike racer.

The Bicycle Man

by Allen Say

Two American soldiers turn up in a small village in occupied Japan and amaze the local children with their bicycle tricks. For ages 4 to 8.

The Bear’s Bicycle

by Emilie W. McLeod

Bear and his young human friend demonstrate safe bicycle riding. Comes with a cassette tape. Ages 4 to 8.

Gracie Goat’s Big Bike Race

by Erin Mirabella

Gracie has to face her fears and learn to ride a bike in order to participate in the big barnyard race. Part of the “Barnyard Sports Squad” series. Ages 4 to 8.

Miffy Rides a Bike

by Dick Bruna

A wordless picture book for very young children about a bunny named Miffy who has big plans for riding her bike to visit her friends.


by Helme Heine

A pig, a rooster, and a mouse ride their bike everywhere together, as friends should.

Franklin Rides a Bike

by Paulette Bourgeois

One in a series of picture books about a shy turtle named Franklin.

Powell’s has an amazing, huge children’s book collection — look for more here.

When you buy books from this page, you help sustain and improve BikePortland.org

Click on the icon below to search the Powell’s Books website. Any purchases you make on a visit that starts on this page will help support BikePortland operations.

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Elly Blue (Columnist)

Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com

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Kevin Wagoner
Kevin Wagoner
15 years ago

Excellent, we had a baby girl 10 days ago so this is a nice timely blog for us.

15 years ago

We also love “Mike and the Bike” (http://powells.com/biblio/71-9781594414985-0)

And I’ve been meaning to pick up “Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist” for the boys for ages too (http://powells.com/biblio/2-9780689831591-1)

15 years ago

The Bicycle Man by Allen Say and The Bike Lesson by the Berenstains were both enjoyed by our 3 year old.

15 years ago

I totally forgot to mention that the best part of “Mike and the Bike” is the audio cd that comes with it, with Phil Liggett reading the story!

15 years ago

“The Bear’s Bicycle” by Emilie Warren McLeod is a really adorable little book, that I think is a must for little readers.


15 years ago

Thanks for the list… another great one is “Messenger Messenger” by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Barry Root!

15 years ago

I let our 2-year old daughter ‘read’ all my old bike mags (Velno News mostly). We’re often both sitting on the sofa thumbing through an issue.

After a while they get kind of ratty so into the recycle bin they go.

15 years ago

Another great one is Friends by Helme Heine, about a pig, a rooster, and a mouse that ride their bike together. It’s one of my daughter’s favorites.


15 years ago

My wife also recommends Mrs Armitage on Wheels, about an eccentric old lady who keeps adding accessories to her bike until it falls apart – http://tinyurl.com/6rvkde.