Now that the Tour de France’s annual hold on our time at home has passed and we can’t excuse ourselves from family duties to watch the evening recap, it’s time to catch up with the kids and share with them why cycling is so great!
Enter Pop-Up Tour de France and Mike and the Bike, two books aimed at children but fun for all ages.
They’re vastly different, with Mike and the Bike being one of a small series of books about a young boy named Mike and his adventures on his bicycle. This one, Mike and the Bike Meet Lucille the Wheel, is actually the 2nd book. Not only does it come with a CD of the story narrated by none other than Phil Liggett and seven bicycle related songs from Tennessee Ward and Paulette Ely, but educational materials are also available for teachers looking to build it into their curriculum. It’s s very fun read, and my son, who was four at the time I started reading it to him, really likes it. Unlike some kids CD’s that are torture to listen to (Kids Bop, anyone? Shoot me now), this one’s pretty darn good.
The Pop-Up Tour de France is a bit heavier reading. It has not only a history of the bicycle, but racing facts, figures and history with descriptions of the different types of stages and more. There’s a spin wheel that matches up the type of rider and vehicle with its description, a history of the winners and a glossary of those French terms that you pretend to know. Your kiddies may gloss over after a page or two, which just delays the gratification and opportunity to share your passion with them. My son started looking at it on his own one day and now really wants to visit France and see the Eiffel Tower, presumably on a bicycle.
Both are excellent and highly recommended. Check out some page photos after the break…