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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 03/2022
  • 978-0-9875130-8-3 B09VDMF1ST
  • 26 pages
  • $2.99
Maria Monte
Author
Ellery's Magic Bicycle
Maria Monte, author

Picture Book; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Create)

A touching picture book about a remarkable childhood bond between a little girl and her magic bicycle, perfect for children ages 4 to 7 and for fans of The Giving Tree.

Inspired by the author's own childhood adventures, this heartfelt story will take readers on a whimsical journey through Ellery’s childhood with her magical bicycle in tow. Ellery and her bicycle share many wonderful new experiences together; lonely yet curious Ellery finds adventure, love, and friendship, as well as weathering sorrow and loss.

When she grows up, Ellery starts to forget her special bond with the bicycle. Will Ellery remember what’s important before it’s too late and the magical bike is lost forever?

A story of redemption, Ellery’s struggles, hopes, and triumph serve as an uplifting reminder to parents of their childhood bonds. Young readers will grow to love Ellery’s strong, kind, and compassionate spirit, and will see their own cherished bicycle in a new light.

Reviews
This tender coming-of-age story is rich with emotion and nostalgia. When Ellery happens upon an old, beat-up bicycle, she is amazed to discover it’s magic–and eagerly asks it to come home with her. Thus begins an enchanted relationship between the two, with the bicycle entertaining her, protecting her, and even getting bigger as Ellery grows. The pair become inseparable, until Ellery is suddenly an adult with a family of her own. Eventually, Ellery forgets about the bicycle, one day replacing it with a new one for her own daughter, and the abandoned bicycle is relegated to a shed, where it longs to be part of the family again.

Adult readers will find themselves reminiscing about their own childhood after reading Monte’s (Eve’s Ducklings) powerful narrative. When Ellery grows too busy for more than “quick rides at sunrise” and stops depending on the bicycle, readers will mourn the loss of innocence right alongside her. Kids will adore the bicycle’s human qualities—such as the way it comforts Ellery when her best friend moves away or soars over jumps with her during adolescence—and cheer for its last-minute rescue from the “rubbish van.” Saunders’s dreamy illustrations add a cozy ambience to a deeply emotional story, highlighting the gorgeous natural backdrop of Ellery’s fanciful adventures.

Though Ellery’s fairy-tale-like discovery of the enchanted bicycle may leave some readers with questions, the beauty of the story will quickly sweep them up. Monte skillfully portrays the importance of belonging, nestled inside an inspiring tale of friendship, loyalty, and wistful memories of childhood. The empathy between Ellery and her bicycle will give adult readers some valuable teaching moments, and the feel-good ending brings Ellery’s journey full circle. This is a must-read tearjerker.

Takeaway: This tale of a young girl and a magic bicycle is alive with warmth and feeling.

Great for fans of: Maxine Beneba Clarke’s The Patchwork Bike, Mark Pett’s The Girl and the Bicycle.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Affaire de Coeur

When we first meet Ellery, she is a little girl with pigtails who finds an old purple bicycle.

It turns out that this bike is magic, capable of responding to commands.  It is also protective of Ellery as well.  Ellery meets Charlie who moved next door.  He's not very friendly at first, but after a rock fight, the three of them become good friends. 

Fast forward to Ellery’s teen years.  Charlie moves away leaves her behind.  Her bicycle consoles her.  Like most teens, she comes distracted and has little time for her bike.  Eventually, the bike got put away, deserted by her friend left to collect spider webs in her spokes.

Ellery’s Magic Bicycle is a delightful book, aimed at the 4-7 year age group.  The lesson it brings in an old one about discarding old friends when new ones show up.  Children will love this book and may be drawn in emotionally.  The illustrations, done by very talented Zoe Saunders,  are marvellous and will hold the interest of the intended audience.  This is a book they will want to read over and over again.

Foreward Reviews

Ellery’s Magic Bicycle is an uplifting picture book in which a girl forms a magical friendship that lasts throughout the years. In Maria Monte’s heartwarming picture book Ellery’s Magic Bicycle, a girl with a bike that seems to heal itself learns a valuable lesson about friendship and gratitude. Ellery finds an old purple bicycle and decides to take it home. Happy to have a new friend, it heals itself of its dents and rust. And as Ellery gets bigger, so does the bicycle. When Charlie moves in next door, the bicycle helps Ellery to befriend him. When he moves away again, the bicycle comforts Ellery. Many years later, when Ellery is married to Charlie, has a daughter, and no longer has time to ride the bike, she rediscovers it while cleaning out her shed; her fond memories of their time together make her keep it. That the bike changes to suit Ellery’s needs, and that she cares for it by decorating it with daisy chains and singing to it, makes their relationship endearing if imbalanced: the bike does more for Ellery than she does for it. The moral of the story is ambiguous, though its nostalgic, loving emotions are palpable because of Ellery’s smile and sweet call for the bike to stay with her. Ellery’s words are powerful and succinct: “Teach me” and “Hold me,” she asks. And the book’s use of onomatopoeia—the bike thwumps to grow bigger, and whirrs its wheels—results in a tangible, appealing text. Evocative language, as of “spiders [who] surfed their stringy webs on the bicycle’s spokes,” contribute to this singular atmosphere. The illustrations include gorgeous depictions of nature, rich with diverse foliage, bright colors, and cute butterflies and bees. The colors of a splendid sunset stripe across the sky of a beautiful two-page spread that portrays Ellery, Charlie, and the bicycle running through a lush field of wheat and flowers. The humans’ faces express a range of emotions, from sorrow to joy to boredom, and the bike’s sparkles are a constant reminder of its magic. Ellery’s Magic Bicycle is an uplifting picture book in which a girl forms a magical friendship that lasts throughout the years.

Kirkus Reviews

In Monte’s picture book, a little girl is befriended by a very unusual bike.When Ellery discovers an old, abandoned purple bicycle, it springs to joyful life, shaking off “mud, dints, and rust” and happily following Ellery home at her hopeful invitation: “Come with me?” The bike teaches the child how to ride it and the two become inseparable playmates. As Ellery grows bigger, the bicycle obligingly grows to fit her. It comforts the girl when she’s sad and even helps her make friends with the prickly boy next door, who joins in their adventures. The story’s fantasy element is delightfully matter-of-fact, as nobody questions how the bike came to life or where it came from. It simply is—and so is the underlying tenderness that Monte brings to her narrative as Ellery passes through childhood to her “daredevil” teenage years and adulthood. For a time, the bicycle gathers dust and spiderwebs, but the satisfying, celebratory conclusion is sure to please the preschool- and elementary-school–age children in the book’s target audience. Prolific children’s book illustrator Saunders matches the narrative’s action and tone with delicate, expressive watercolor-and-ink images that charm with subtle detail and bring the magical bicycle to life without anthropomorphizing it.A fantasy grounded in real life with a gentle message about loyal friendship.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 03/2022
  • 978-0-9875130-8-3 B09VDMF1ST
  • 26 pages
  • $2.99

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