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Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  193 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
I can pop a wheelie, I can touch the sky,
I can pedal backwards, I can really fly!

Sally Jean was born to ride. And her bicycle, Flash, is just about her best friend. But one day something terrible – and wonderful – happens. Sally Jean grows. Suddenly she finds herself too big
for Flash. What’s a Bicycle Queen to do? Finally, by collecting old bicycle parts to make a new
...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 18th 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Misha
Nov 03, 2010 Misha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Love this one. For one, Sally is awesome. It's about a girl who loves bikes but when her bike breaks and her parents can't afford a new one (yay--a picture book about families who aren't made of money!), she works in a junk shop and learns how to fix and make bikes. Then she even gives her old favorite bicycle away.
Powerm2
Jun 20, 2017 Powerm2 rated it really liked it
Sally Jean loves her bicycle since the day she learned at a very young age. As she grew in age and size, her bike stayed the same. Sally goes everywhere on her bike and has her group of friends who all ride. When she can no longer ride her bike because she does not fit, she comes up with a few plans that will help her get a new one.

Sally shows perseverance and dedication when it comes to getting a new bike. This book can be closely related to "Swimmy" to teach the lesson of perseverance as well
...more
Jannah
May 30, 2017 Jannah rated it really liked it
Sally Jean, a girl with a dream: she's going to be the bicycle queen!
As she grows up, Sally Jean grows up with her yard sale find of a bicycle, Flash.
But then SJ outgrows Flash. Her parents can't afford to get her a new bike.
Does she give up?
NO!
She volunteers to help someone with their junk to earn bike accessories, helps other people repair their own bikes to make a little money, and scavenges for parts until she can create a new two-wheeled sidekick.
I love this girl's persistence, creativity,
...more
Amanda Walz
Jan 27, 2017 Amanda Walz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I love the way Sally Jean grew and learned how to think outside the box. That she solved her problem by thinking outside the box.
Miriam Axel-lute
Sep 24, 2008 Miriam Axel-lute rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all kids of cyclists
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine Turner
Nov 06, 2014 Christine Turner rated it liked it
Shelves: 2x2, pln
I can pop a wheelie, I can touch the sky,
I can pedal backwards, I can really fly!
Sally Jean was born to ride. And her bicycle, Flash, is just about her best friend. But one day something terrible - and wonderful - happens. Sally Jean grows. Suddenly she finds herself too big
for Flash. What's a Bicycle Queen to do? Finally, by collecting old bicycle parts to make a new bike - and giving Flash to a young friend who longs for a bigger bike of his own - she rides
again! With exuberant art that's jus
...more
Lynn
May 09, 2014 Lynn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
I really enjoyed reading this fun picture book to our first and second grade students!

A perfect book for April(Environmental Awareness month)/May (bike month) as Sally Jean grows with her bicycle, Flash, first learning how to ride it, then taking care of it and helping others to take care of their bikes, too. When she outgrows her bike, she must figure out a way to get another one, since her parents cannot afford to buy one. So what can she do?

With the help of a neighbor, her parents and friends
...more
Regina
This book was recommended to me as a picture book that positively portrays life in an urban environment. Sally Jean loves to ride her bicycle, Flash, but when she outgrows Flash she must get a new bike. But her family doesn't have the ability to buy her a new bike! Sally Jean learned to repair her bicycle and starts to help friends and neighbors out with their bikes. Through the process she realizes that she can build herself a new bike from used parts!
I loved the resourcefulness that the prota
...more
Felicity The Magnificent
Sep 04, 2011 Felicity The Magnificent rated it it was amazing
In this book when Sally was one, she rode on the back of her Momma's bike. When Sally Jean was two, she got her own tricycle. When she turned four, she had her bike with two wheelers with training wheels. When she was five, she took her training wheels off her two-wheeler. She practiced going up the hill and down the hill. Her Mom told her she had to raise her seat. And her bicycle got bigger. When she had to raise her seat a little more, she tried and tried but couldn't. Her brother and her fri ...more
Emelda
Joe loves all things that move, but I try to focus on bikes and trains (as cars, trucks and construction machines are raping and murdering our planet). He LOVES this book. It follows Sally Jean and her bicycling neighborhood and family as she grows up. By the time Sally Jean turns 8, she needs a new bike but her family can't afford one. Being the resourceful girl she is, she opens a learn-to-fix-your-bicycle shop and tries to raise the funds for a bike on her own. She only raises enough for 2 ti ...more
Caroline (Cary)
Mar 26, 2013 Caroline (Cary) rated it really liked it
All her life, Sally Jean has watched big kids on their bicycles and waited impatiently to be as big and as good as they are. When she finally outgrows her training wheels and gets her first big-kid bike, she and Flash (the bike) travel around the neighborhood, doing tricks and making new friends. Soon, though, Sally Jean grows too big to ride Rocket anymore, and begins the search for another bike. Rhyming songs that Sally sings while riding make this a fun read-along, and vivid, painterly illust ...more
Jackie
Nov 07, 2013 Jackie rated it really liked it
Through all the stages of Sally Jean's bicycle-riding life, we see her become more and more confident in her abilities...until that sad day when her most beloved bike, Flash, has become too small for her. Her parents can't afford a new one, but they did give her the 'tools' and self-reliance to figure out how to plan for a new one. She sets up her own bike repair business (after her parent's show her how to fix a flat, raise the handlebars, and adjust the seat). Little by little, piece by piece ...more
Jo
Feb 03, 2010 Jo rated it it was amazing
Sally Jean loves to ride her bike named Flash but when she gets too big for her bike and her parents can't afford to buy her a new one until next year, Sally Jean must come up with a way to get a new bike now! Using old bicycle parts and junk Sally Jean finds in her neighbour's yard, she builds herself a new bike. I cycle, You cycle, Recycle Junk! Sally Jean even comes up with a way to reuse her old bike, by giving it to a younger boy in her neighbourhood!

What a fun and inspiring read. :)
Joy Murray
Nov 20, 2012 Joy Murray rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A charming book in which the girl becomes the mechanic and comes up with a way of getting a new bike, after she outgrows her beloved bike "Flash." I like that her parents can't afford to buy her a bike and she is challenged to come up with solutions for herself. The ending shows the power of generosity.
Chantel
Jul 19, 2008 Chantel rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Sally Jean LOVES her bike! But when she grows out of it and her parents can't afford to buy her a new one, what is she to do? Sally Jean is creative and forward thinking and she figures out a way to get herself a bike. Any child who reads this book will want to be creative like Sally Jean. Hooray for Sally Jean!
Samantha
May 06, 2013 Samantha rated it liked it
Sally Jean was practically raised on bikes, so when she outgrows her bike and there's no money to buy a new one she works hard to earn enough money to buy one on her own. The money doesn't quite roll in as Sally Jean had hoped so she recycles a bike she finds in her neighborhood and builds her next bike.

Watercolor illustrations on natural-colored paper give the story a faraway feel.

Dolly
May 04, 2009 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2009
This is a great book; it's about growing up, self-reliance, recycling and putting old things to good use, and of course, bicycles. What more could you ask for in a book!?! It's a great book to read aloud. We really enjoyed reading this book together.
Danielle Monroe
Apr 21, 2010 Danielle Monroe rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This book is a great book to show that not everyone can get what they want when they want it. They have to work hard for what they want. A little girl grows too big for her bike and ends up building her own bike from parts she found in a neighbor's junk yard.
Heather
Sep 27, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-childrens
This book really captures the spirit and connection between and kid and his/her bike! I loved the detail of including little ditties that Sally Jean would sing as she rode her beloved bike. I also loved her resourcefulness when she didn't automatically get what she wanted.
Jessica Lauber
May 17, 2016 Jessica Lauber rated it liked it
The storyline is fairly unrealistic. A two-year-old on a tricycle?? But, it has great descriptive writing! And teaches great lessons on perseverance and self-reliance. The animation in the illustrations is enjoyable.
Teresa
Sep 11, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This book is applicable to many themes: growing up; leadership; entrepreneurship; making the best out of sad situations; generosity; recycling. Very positive.
Tricia
Oct 17, 2008 Tricia rated it it was ok
i'm torn...i like the spunk but the story didn't overwhelm me. larger than life pictures capture the tale of the girl who outgrows her bike and then creates a new one out of junk.
Tina
Jul 21, 2008 Tina rated it it was amazing
Great message for kiddos and myboys LOVED it.
Alyse Liebovich
Nov 07, 2012 Alyse Liebovich rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This book was cute, but I didn't love it. I liked the ending.
Edenanna00
Aug 24, 2010 Edenanna00 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Great kids book! It does a great job of teaching the lesson of make do or do without.
Michael
Dec 07, 2012 Michael rated it liked it
This was a fun read but I don't remember much about it two weeks later so I don't think I should give a rating higher than 3.
Robin
May 13, 2013 Robin rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a good one to use for a bicycle-themed storytime that I plan to do in the future.
Ellie
Aug 04, 2012 Ellie rated it it was amazing
A fun read and surprising little book. When Sally outgrows her old bike, she is inventive in making a new one. This is exactly the kind of example I want set for my kids.
Cara
Oct 28, 2014 Cara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jane-faves
Outstanding recommendation from A Mighty Girl. Sally Jean not only learns to ride a bike but learns about saving money and fixing bikes!
Erroll Treslan
Jul 27, 2011 Erroll Treslan rated it it was amazing
There is no better way to spend 15 minutes than having your 7 year old daughter (proudly) read this book to you. Superb.
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Cari Best has written many award-winning picture books, including Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and My Three Best Friends and Me, described by the New York Times as “refreshing” and “exciting.” Her most recent picture book is If I Could Drive, Mama, was described by Publishers Weekly as “a wonderful tribute to an imagination in perpetual motion.” In ...more
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