1) Scoot! By Jim Smith (illustrator) and Katie Blackburn (author), 2017
Reading age: Baby – 5 years
OK, so we’re starting with a book that isn’t strictly about cycling but scooters are on par with balance bikes when it comes to the first set of wheels for your little ones. From award-winning illustrator and author of ‘Where the Wild Mums Are’ comes the first-ever picture book about scooters. Hilarious and adventurous in equal measures.
2) I Love My Bike by Simon Mole (author) and Sam Usher (illustrator)
Reading age: 4 – 7 years
Moving on from scooting, the protagonist in this story is learning to balance on two wheels for the first time. Sharing all the feelings that come with this new skill, the young girl experiences nervousness and excitement as she overcomes defeat, instilling confidence into little ones who are currently in the throes of learning to ride their bike.
3) On Your Bike: All you need to know about cycling for kids by Chris Hoy
Reading age: 5 – 8 years
A comprehensive guide to choosing, maintaining and enjoying bikes for young fans of Chris Hoy. Illustrated using Flying Fergus characters (by Clare Elsom), this informative guide is colourful and fun to read. Safety and maintenance feature within packed pages, as well as fun tips and tricks such as how to perfect a wheelie!
4) The Adventures of Thandie the Tandem: Timmy and the Elephants by Claire le Block (author) and Tim Hole (illustrator)
Reading age: 5 – 9 years
Based on the real-life adventures of Thandie the Tandem, this illustrated book takes young readers across Africa on a cycle tour. Touching on topics such as poaching and conservation, the story will inspire children by educating them on ecological issues, promoting awareness among the next generation. A planned series of books, the story is currently one of two.
5) Princess BMX: Marie Basting
Reading age: 6 – 11 years
PRINCESS BMX – @riewriting
Princess Avariella – or Ava, for short – is heir to the throne of the magical kingdom of Biscotti. Bored of behaving with grace and decorum, she runs riot whenever she can.
— A New Chapter – Children's Bookstore (@ANewChapterBks) October 5, 2021
Princess Ava travels from her magical kingdom to Camden in London where she discovers an excitement for riding BMX. Filled with characterful illustrations, the fast-paced adventure will delight girls and boys alike. A modern take on the princess fairytale and with BMX hitting the headlines following the Olympics, this is sure to be a hit.
6) The Young Cyclist’s Companion: Peter Drinkell (author) and Thomas Slater (illustrator) 2021
Reading age: 8 – 14 years
Much like Chris Hoy’s guide, The Young Cyclist’s Companion is a thorough picture book introducing budding young cyclists to the world of bikes. From the basics of purchasing and maintaining a bike to competitions and training, this fun and accessible guide is sure to entertain and inform, well-supported by illustrations and photographs.
7) Dream to Win: Bradley Wiggins by Roy Apps (author) and Chris King (illustrator)
Reading age: 9 – 11 years
Roy Apps has written over 80 children’s books, including the extensive sports’ series Dream to Win. An easy-to-read but inspirational biography for the younger audience, ‘Dream to Win: Bradley Wiggins’ tells the story from childhood years right up to the Tour de France in 2012. As we are talking about a national hero, children are bound to be inspired to jump on their bikes.
8) The Boy Who Biked the World (three parts) by Alistair Humphreys
Reading age: 9 – 12 years
Alistair is known for his adventurous endeavours and The Boy Who Biked The World is a testament to that. Drawing heavily on Al’s own cycle trip around the world, the story follows the main character, Tom, on his thrilling adventure. The story inspires and entertains, whilst informing and educating, covering cross-curricular subjects that one may encounter on such a journey.