Elspeth Lorraine

Book Reviews

June 2, 2023

"Wild Blue: Taming a Big-Kid Bike" By Dashka Slater Illustrated by Laura Hughes

When I saw “Wild Blue” on the cover of this book I thought of Ralphie in A Christmas Story calling his pellet rifle “Old Blue”. Naming your things is a time honored tradition and having this little girl name her bike Wild Blue is adorable. Dashka gets kids and the way they think. They want to turn the everyday into an adventure and that’s just what Wild Blue is about. A little girl with tan skin, brown hair and a red bike helmet (or cowgirl hat depending!) has outgrown her smaller pink bike with training wheels and her dad is helping her move on to a new bigger bike, Wild Blue. This new bike bucks her off a time or two and seems not to know who’s in charge. But who is in charge? Riding a bike without training wheels is tough. And a little scary! It’s time to lasso up her courage and “get back on”, even after falling off a few times.


Bits and Pieces: I really like a Cowgirl theme and who would have thought it would be in a book about learning to ride a big girl bike? Seeing the cityscape change from an average (Philadelphia?) neighborhood to the wild west as her confidence rose was such a cute touch. The illustrations were done in acrylic ink by Laura and I knew I recognized her work. She illustrated The Forgettery, another sweet book whose illustrations were so warm and soft. 

Not Sure About: This is a fresh take on a time honored topic. But kids might figure out the end pretty quickly. 

Favorite Part: I liked reading the little girl’s voice in a cowgirl voice. I read it to my nephew and he seemed to appreciate it as well. Anytime a book encourages you to use a voice or try a bit harder to act things out means the author knows what they are doing. I’m already a Dashka fan because my favorite animal is a snail. If you know, you know. 

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