I have fond memories of my mother reading books to my brother and me when we were little tykes. We’d curl up in bed on either side of her, and she’d read aloud enthusiastically. We loved anything by Dr. Seuss (my favorite, especially this time of year, was “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”), “The Berenstain Bears” series and other classics. And as we got a little older, she’d regularly read to us Judith Viorst’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” since we all have those from time to time.
Alas, none of the books Mom read to us had motorcycles in them, which probably explains why we were both late bloomers and didn’t learn to ride motorcycles until we were in our 20s.
A good way to set the motorcycle hook early is with “The Adventures of Mimi and Moto: The Motorcycle Monkeys,” a new children’s book written by the husband and wife team of Nancy Gerloff and Mark Augustyn, and whimsically illustrated by Esteban Alvarado.
The book follows blue-eyed Mimi, a female monkey, and green-eyed Moto, her male companion, as they ride dirt bikes, sportbikes, choppers, a sidecar and what looks like a Gold Wing. Mimi usually rides her own bike, which is inspirational for young girls, but she assumes the more stereotypical role of passenger on the Gold Wing and sidecar. Mimi and Moto always wear helmets, which is another good lesson to teach the little ones.
I gave a copy of “Mimi and Moto” to Nina Lou, my six-month-old niece (daughter of my motorcycle-riding brother), and her mother immediately read it to her. As an elementary school teacher, Nina’s mother is a veteran reader of books to children, and she read the simple story aloud with great flourish. Nina’s eyes lit up, and I could tell “Mimi and Moto” would be in regular rotation in the months and years ahead. Whether Nina’s Mom gives the green light to a minibike when she gets a little older remains to be seen, but her uncle is hopeful!
Another copy of “Mimi and Moto” will be a Christmas present for 18-month-old August, the son of my riding buddy, Paul. August has already outgrown his BMW (Baby Motor Works) onesie and will soon be on two wheels, I’m sure.
Published by Little Rider Enterprises, “The Adventures of Mimi and Moto: The Motorcycle Monkeys” is available for $8.99 in hardcover from Amazon or for $4.99 in a digital version via “lifetime membership” at mimiandmoto.com, which is a great way to have it at the ready on your iPad or other mobile device.