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Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude

Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude

4.8 6
by Kevin O'Malley, Carol Heyer (Illustrator), Scott Goto (Illustrator)

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When their teacher gives a joint storytelling assignment, a boy and a girl have different ideas of how their fairy tale should evolve. Can they agree on who will live happily ever after? With a cool motorcycle dude and a beautiful princess the possibilities are endless!

Once upon a time there was ... a princess who loved all her beautiful ponies, a cool


When their teacher gives a joint storytelling assignment, a boy and a girl have different ideas of how their fairy tale should evolve. Can they agree on who will live happily ever after? With a cool motorcycle dude and a beautiful princess the possibilities are endless!

Once upon a time there was ... a princess who loved all her beautiful ponies, a cool muscle dude who rode an awesome motorcycle. But a giant came and started stealing them! The dude came to fight the ugly, smelly giant with his mighty sword. She turned gold into thread while she cried for Buttercup, her favorite pony. And he took the princess's gold thread for payment The end!

Wait a minute! That's not how it ends!

Oh no?

Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl who had to tell a fairy tale to the class, but they couldn't agree on the story. Will everyone live happily ever after?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Three artists with distinct styles combine efforts for this rollicking story, which takes on the topic of gender differences with humor and insight. O'Malley's (Cinder Edna) cartoon-like boy and girl, their words appearing in thought balloons, present a library project. "I'll begin the story," says the girl. "My beginning is better, but go ahead," the boy responds, hinting at the book's tensions from the get-go. Heyer (The First Easter) illustrates the girl's story of Princess Tenderheart in flowing purple and pink robes, as she plays with her "eight beautiful ponies" (e.g., Jasmie, Nimble, Sophie, etc.). Her favorite was Buttercup, the girl reports from the bottom left-hand corner of the framed illustration; the boy, on the opposite corner, chagrined and somewhat panicked, says, "Please... don't call him Buttercup. Call him Ralph or something." After a giant steals the ponies and the weeping princess spins straw into gold, the boy directs the proceedings ("That's it... I can't take it anymore," says he). Goto's (Heat Wave) full-bleed spreads in garish hues signal a change in tone: "One day this really cool muscle dude rides up to the castle on his motorcycle." Naturally, the girl objects to this line of development. The story then becomes a collaborative effort (all three artists' styles appear on each page), as the two resist confining their characters to stereotypes. Entertaining and sophisticated, this book would make a great conversation starter about issues of gender stereotyping, and the benefits of teamwork. Ages 6-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Young readers who have ever been forcibly yoked to a rival for some class project will glory in this contentious oral report. Unable to agree on a folktale to tell their classmates, a lad and lass decide to make it up as they go. She starts, with Princess Tenderheart-rendered by Heyer in flowing silk gowns and blonde tresses-pining for her beloved ponies, which are being stolen one by one by a giant. Gagging, the storyteller's companion proceeds to add a huge dude who roars up on a chopper to provide protection, and to battle a giant that, in Goto's testosterone-soaked oils, is green but far from jolly. Meanwhile, instead of passively sitting by spinning straw into gold, the Princess starts pumping iron . . . and on the tale seesaws, to a more or less happily-ever-after. The unusual collaboration among illustrators works seamlessly, with O'Malley supplying the storytellers, and Heyer and Goto the characters on separate pages or spreads. This disarming, funny and not agenda-driven dig at the hot-button issue of gender differences is likely to excite plenty of giggles-and perhaps some discussion, too. (Picture book. 6-9)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.79(w) x 11.15(h) x 0.36(d)
550L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

KEVIN O'MALLEY is the co-author and illustrator of the popular Miss Malarkey series as well as the award-winning Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude and the national bestseller Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


Carol Heyer used to argue with the boys in her class about important things like princesses and giants, so she enjoyed collaborating on this dueling boy and girl story. Now Carol is a full-time writer and illustrator whose books have sold over a million copies.

Scott Goto thinks illustrating a story about a dude who battles giants with a bike and a big sword is the perfect way to start the day. However, the only bike he has is pedal powered, and he fought a giant once in school and got squashed. But he does own a big sword.

Customer Reviews

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Once upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended by our elementary school's librarian. We are doing a unit on Fairy Tales and the fractured versions. I read this before they were assigned to create their own. My fifth grade students roared with laughter! They could really connect to this one! I love it and am ordering my own copy!
Jammies More than 1 year ago
This was a big hit with my ten and seven year old nephews and my four and seven year old nieces. I took it up to the lake house when they all were there, and they all loved it. The boys read and re-read it on their own, and the girls asked every adult willing to read them a story to read this book to them. I'll be grabbing the sequel for next year's family vacation!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From a big reader, my 6 year old son says "this is the BEST BOOK EVER." It's actually very funny and a great introduction to boys especially of how different they are from girls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very cute book. Good lesson on sharing, taking turns and cooperation. My 7 year old told me about it and said there was a long wait list for it at their library. The next day we went to B&N and picked it up and he reads it constantly!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Ages 5-50 nd beyond love this book. It does'nt matter who you are- Buy it now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My youngest son (7) brought this home from school the other day. All of my kids (younger and older) stopped what they were doing when I was reading it. It then made rounds to each one individually. It wasn't put down for quite a while. Hilarious.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a really wonderful read aloud book. The combination of character voices interupting each other had my little brothers laughing from beginning to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very cute book about a boy and girl with quite different views on how a fairy tale should go. Her version is ultra-feminine (with ponies and lots of tears), while his version is ultra-masculine (with motorcycles and decaying ogre teeth). While the gender roles are stereotypical for the most part, the two parties are able to find common ground, and the story offers a good chance to talk about compromise. It is great as a read-aloud if you are willing to play up the differences and do the voices. The kids loved hearing it at my school-age storytime, and I think the parents enjoyed it just as much.