A young bicycle lover travels through a bizarre, humorous dreamscape in Spilman’s debut picture book.
Kylee, an energetic grade schooler, loves riding her bicycle. On one Friday night, she falls asleep as her father tells her a story, and she dreams of a world full of bikes. After she finds her favorite three-speed, she takes off, and the bicycle flies through the clouds. When a Little Purple Creature offers to take Kylee on an even bigger adventure, the little girl requests something musical—and in no time at all, they’re surrounded by piano playing cows, dueling basses and crabs on seashell drum kits. Like other picture books about dream journeys, the imagery is silly throughout, and young readers will likely chuckle at the sheer absurdity of electric guitar–playing star-shaped clouds. Illustrator Naumovich ably provides bright, whimsical illustrations, with slightly unfinished edges that emphasize the dreamscape. Spilman’s text, however, never quite reaches the potential of the silly scenes she creates. The stilted rhyme scheme’s meter never quite flows, particularly when read aloud: “In front of Kylee sat a Little Purple Creature who turned around to say– / ‘I’m here to take you on a Fantastic Adventure. Please tell me what to find.’ / Kylee thought a little, and excitedly answered, / ‘I want to have a musical adventure, if you wouldn’t mind.’ ” Although parents may be glad to see bike-riding Kylee wearing a helmet, and children may be enchanted by the eye-catching images, the text, with its large vocabulary, may be too challenging for beginning readers. Independent readers, however, may wish for a stronger plot.
An uneven children’s book, although some readers may be amused by its brightly colored dream world.