As a kid growing up, I became aware of motorcycles organically. I would see them on the highway during road trips with my parents; my dad was always impressed by how quiet BMWs were. It wasn’t until years later that he told me he had an Indian Four with a muffler bypass knob. Later, I saw older guys racing up hills behind my house, and that was my introduction to dirt bikes.
However, my first love was reading—long before I can even remember. If Mimi and Moto Ride the Alphabet authors Nancy Gerloff and Mark Agustyn had been around, I would have gotten into motorcycles much sooner. I gave my three-year-old niece, Kaitlin, the head start I didn’t have, even though she’s something of a girly girl more interested in Frozen than four-strokes.
Kaitlin also happens to be right in the throes of learning how to read. So, when I presented her with Mimi and Moto Ride the Alphabet, she was all over it, regardless of the subject. She immediately enthusiastically began either reading, or attempting to read, every single page of the book. The book rides the alphabet from A to Z, keeping a child’s interest the entire route.
Even though motorcycles are pretty much unknown to her—she wanted to familiarize herself with every letter in the book. It doesn’t hurt that the illustrations by Aveliya Savina and Marat Kurokhtin are wonderfully kid-friendly, and the story of motorcycle-riding monkeys Mimi and Moto is engagingly fun. That encourages repeat readings.
Being fully inclusive, the book’s protagonists are male and female, and they cover all sorts of motorcycles from dirt to street to racing to vintage.
Sure, if you have a kid of your own, your child will be inundated with everything motorcycle. There will be a motorcycle in the garage, and the sound of it starting up will be very familiar. For Kaitlin, it’s not that way. That gives the Mimi and Moto Ride the Alphabet dual purposes. The best thing is that it encourages children to learn to read, or read if they have already developed that skill—that’s always going to be #1. Additionally, this will forever install positive thoughts about motorcycles into Kaitlin’s head—“Only cool people ride motorcycles,” for example—and that’s something that makes me quite happy.
Mimi and Moto Ride the Alphabet is the second in a series, following the successful debut, The Adventures of Mimi and Moto: The Motorcycle Monkeys. Kaitlin started with the follow-up, and that wasn’t an issue.
The two books are $15 each from MimiandMoto.com, so go ahead and splurge for both books and save $5. If you have lots of kids, nieces, nephews, and grandkids, they’ll sell you a dozen books for $144.
If a youngster gets into the books—and there’s no reason not to—the folks behind Mimi and Moto have lots of extra goodies available. There are t-shirts for kids (“Future Motorcycle Rider” on the back) and adults (“Only Cool People Ride Motorcycles”)—Mimi and Moto are on the front. Kids sizes range from 2 to Youth Small, with adult shirts offered Small to X-Large. There is also a Mimi and Moto theme song, and free downloadable coloring pages at the website.
Reading and motorcycles are two great pastimes, and there’s no better way to get a child started on both than Mimi and Moto Ride the Alphabet.