Emilie Warren McLeod with illustrations by David McPhail
Little, Brown and Co., 1975
As mentioned before, I have a real soft spot for David McPhail. His illustrations so vividly transform me back to my childhood, that I get a huge kick out of it when my son pulls one of his off the bookshelf. The cross hatch drawings. The vivid colors. The crumbled little grin on the bear. And boy, does the dude have a bear fixation. Seems like every single one of his books from the 70s (almost) involves some fabulous giant brown bear.
So there's this kid, and he has a stuffed bear, and they take a bike ride... with the little bear transforming into a big, real bear to ride his own way-too-tiny training-wheeled trike. (Am not sure if the boy himself imagines the bear riding the bike or if there is a little magic involved.) Through the journey, the bear and the boy show us all the dos and don'ts of bike safety and etiquette.
Every day we go bike riding.
I check the tires and the brakes
and make sure the handlebars turn.
Then I get on my bike
and coast down the driveway.
For every right move the boy makes, a disaster waits for the bear. A great title to show to a child learning to enjoy the freedom of a two-wheeler.
The Bear's Toothache
The Magical Drawings of Moony B. Finch