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Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen    by Cari Best & Christine Davenier order for
Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen
by Cari Best
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Sally Jean has been riding ever since she was a baby in a bike seat attached to her mother's bicycle. As she grows older, she falls in love with riding and annoints herself the Bicycle Queen. Her parents replace her bikes as she grows, but soon Sally Jean becomes too tall for her favorite bike, which she names Flash.

Unfortunately, her parents cannot afford to replace her bike immediately, so Sally Jean uses her resourcefulness and ingenuity to try to obtain a new, better fitting bicycle. This includes opening up a bicycle repair shop, fixing neighborhood kids' bicycles, and trying to create a new bike out of used parts that she earns while working at a neighbor's junkyard. Finally she succeeds, and names her new bicycle Lightning. In an act of altruism, she gives Flash away to a child who in turn has outgrown his own bike.

I like that Sally has a passion and she is willing to work hard for what she loves, without begging her parents to buy something for her. The whimsical and carefree illustrations reflect Sally Jean's nature. While this isn't my favorite Cari Best book (that distinction belongs to Are You Going to be Good?), it's a nice story about growing up and being independent enough to solve your own problems.

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