Bonnie O’Boy’s dream comes true when she gets a bike and then must learn an important part of riding it: how to stop.
The title of Proimos’ novel for teens, 12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn (2011), is only tangentially related to this picture-book offering, in which Bonnie crashes after failing to heed Mother’s warning: “You can’t just go ride all willy-nilly.” Willy-nilly she goes, and ensuing spreads imaginatively depict her riding over bridges, mountains, elephants and more, and she simply cannot stop. Although it may strike some as odd that Bonnie needs no practice (let alone training wheels) to balance, they’ll enjoy connecting the aforementioned fantasy scenes of the bridge, mountains, elephant, etc., with toys and other backyard landmarks. Luckily, she only crashes into her little brother Charley’s building project. Her parents comfort her, her father helpfully saying, “Here are the brakes,” and in a pictorial nod to safety, Bonnie dons a helmet. Meanwhile, Charley rebuilds his play farm, and Bonnie again sets off around the yard. Throughout, Wright’s acrylic-and-ink illustrations employ a colorful, naive style to capture the exuberance of Bonnie’s first bike ride, while promising that although this initial taste of two-wheeled freedom may be the “best,” there are many joyful rides in store—perhaps astride her next secret wish: a pony.
A fun-filled take on a familiar childhood milestone. (Picture book. 4-6)