Bike & Trike

Bike & Trike

Authors: ,
Genre: Picture Books
Tags: fiction, story, transportation
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Year: 2020
Format: Hardcover Picture Book, Ebook
Length: 48 pages
Illustrator: Brian Biggs
ASIN: 1534415173
ISBN: 9781534415171

Look out, world! There’s a shiny new Bike in town. But what does this mean for rusty old Trike?

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About the Book

Toy Story meets Cars in this sweet and relatable story that explores universal themes of friendship and growing up.

Trike is a rusty little fellow, a trusty little fellow, on three worn-down wheels. Now that Lulu has outgrown him, he’s lonely in the garage. But then a newcomer shows up. He’s shiny and big and has FOUR wheels. It’s BIKE! Gulp. Trike worries that Bike won’t know how to take care of Lulu. Bike won’t listen, and challenges Trike to a race. It’s ON!
Who will win?

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Bike & Trike
Bike & Trike cover
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Downloadable Activities

Bike & Trike

Meet my newest buddies: Bike and Trike. Pedal-pedal-pedal! Who will be the winner on wheels? Share the coloring sheet with your kids and students, as well as the bike safety tips featuring all of the book characters. And don’t forget to wear a helmet!


Bike & Trike Read-Aloud with Illustrator Brian Biggs

How to Draw a Bike & Trike
with Illustrator Brian Biggs


Bike & Trike is a lovely 48-page picture book by children’s book author Elizabeth Verdick. Follow the story of Trike, a lonely outgrown tricycle who meets his replacement, the exuberant and somewhat reckless Bike. The action-packed tale will keep young readers (ages 4-7) on the edges of their seats with a bike race that’s a scoop of The Little Engine That Could with a dash of The Tortoise and the Hare and a pinch of Yoda and Luke. Not only does everything work out OK, but the ending is unexpectedly sweet.

Bike & Trike isn’t only for bike-loving parents and their kids, it’s also a classic story about conflict resolution and could be a useful tool in anyone’s toolbox for helping kids navigate transition…or just for dealing with siblings. I see shades of my kids in Bike and Trike and it brings back memories of clashes with my own little brother a lifetime ago. It’s a good book for accompanying kids making the leap from one wheeled vehicle to the next, but having a beloved book to refer back to during any tricky time is a boon. (“Remember how both Bike and Trike crashed and then got right back up?”)

It’s got a great read-aloud cadence right from the start:

Trike is a rusty little fellow, a trusty little fellow, on three worn-down wheels.

Warning: “summer bees, skinned knees” might just get stuck in your head, too.

The illustrations by Brian Biggs are an adorable mix of correct bike anatomy and whimsy. I’m quite smitten by Trike’s spindle of a seatpost and Bike’s stylish head- and tail light that float in the air above his fenders. Lights and fenders?! Yep! Bike commuters will love that Bike’s a practical bike with dynamo lights, fenders, and a horn.
Growing pains abound in this vehicular tale about change and new beginnings. Outgrown by child Lulu, red Trike languishes in the garage (“a rusty little fellow,/ a trusty little fellow”) until teal Bike arrives, a gift for Lulu’s birthday. Lonely and insecure, Trike worries that the child will forget all they braved together: “summer bees,/ skinned knees” and the terrible day Lulu finally outgrew her tricycle (“No go,” says her younger sibling, Tru). Challenged to a race by overconfident, wheelie-popping Bike (“a happy young fellow, a snappy young fellow”), careful Trike sees an opportunity to secure safety for Lulu, but calamity strikes when the two hit the road. Together, Bike’s uncontrolled enthusiasm and Trike’s cautious concern represent two very real and often competing emotions commonly felt during times of significant change. Rhythmic, personality-laden text by Verdick (Small Walt) couples with dynamic anthropomorphic energy and emotion dexterously conveyed by Biggs (The Space Walk) to create an amusing friendship story that’s just right for reading aloud. Ages 4–8.
A battered old tricycle and a new bike make friends—but not without hitting a few bumps in the road.

Lulu and Trike have been together for years…but Lulu keeps getting bigger, and one day a brand-new birthday bike sails into the garage: “Watch this trick,” he crows, popping a wheelie and zooming through Hula Hoop. Ignoring Trike’s cautions about safety (“Aw, back off, old-timer”), Bike proposes a riderless race to the nearby woods. And so they’re off, with Trike struggling to keep up (“You can DO this,” he tells himself, “for Lulu and the way the two of us flew”). Then, seeing Bike careening heedlessly toward a cliff, Trike selflessly puts on an extra burst of speed to head off disaster with a mighty collision. “I guess I have a lot to learn,” says penitent Bike, and back to the garage they go, “two winners on wheels.” Verdick tells the tale in a characteristic mix of exuberant sound effects and euphonic phrasing, with short sentences making the relatively high page count fly. Along with kitting out shiny Bike with splendid streamers, lights, training wheels, and even a horn, Biggs pairs Lulu at the end with an equally thrilled little brother (both white) just the right size for a hand-me-down.

Everyone’s indeed a winner here, and the subtle message about safety consciousness is likewise right on track. (Picture book. 4-7)
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