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MOTORCYCLE SONG by Diane Siebert


by Diane Siebert & illustrated by Leonard Jenkins

Age Range: 5 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-028732-2
Publisher: HarperCollins

Motorcycle fans young and old will find that this evocative poetic work revs up their reading engines, with one long but accessible poem that celebrates motorcycle mania and the lure of the lonely highway. Siebert (Mississippi, not reviewed, etc.) continues her successful series of transportation-themed poetry collections with this latest work. Here she knows whereof she speaks because she rides a 750cc Honda Nighthawk herself. Her long, rhyming poem can be read as one longer piece, or it can easily be broken into shorter sections that can stand alone. She begins and ends by focusing on a single “motorcycle man,” who rides out of town in search of “wide roads / side roads / perfect-for-a-ride roads.” He drives down highways and country roads, meeting different bikers and describing their motorcycles: “hot bikes / cool bikes / enough-to-make-you-drool bikes,” with popular brand names woven into the text (causing a few sputters in the meter). Vibrant mixed-media paintings effectively showcase the motorcycles with dynamic style. The text is incorporated into the double-page spreads, set attractively in all-lower-case italics for a clean, modern look that will appeal to older readers, as will the sophisticated illustrations. The high in “high interest” doesn’t get much more appealing than this. (Poetry. 5-12)