Another delightful recommendation from my good friend Dr. M., who loved it so much that she read it to me over the phone, despite much of the charm of the book being in the illustrations.
Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude written and illustrated Kevin O’Malley. Illustrated by Carol Heyer. Illustrated by Scott Goto. Two children, a girl and a boy, are assigned to give a school report on their favorite fairy tale. Only as they couldn’t agree on a favorite fairy tale, they decide instead to write their own. The girl starts, telling a romantic tale of a sweet and beautiful princess whose beloved unicorn ponies are tragically being kidnapped by a giant. Then the boy interrupts, having a cool motorcycle dude come and battle the giant every night while the princess spins golden thread for him in payment. Then the girl interrupts again, incensed at her princess’s new role. Princess Tenderheart now goes to the gym to pump iron and becomes Princess Warrior, so she can rescue her ponies herself. From here, the interruptions from one side and the other become more and more frequent, until the children find a story and characters that they can both enjoy. The story is funny to start with, and the illustration really make it. O’Malley draws the two children in a fairly realistic cartoon style with pen and ink. Heyer illustrates the girl’s story in oil paintings that look like a mash-up of Beautiful Fairy Tale book and Barbie-level cheesy girl appeal. Goto illustrates the boy’s story in bright, vigorous pastels where the motorcycle dude and his motorcycle vye for space with the hideous giant and exploding volcanoes. This book was a hit with everyone who saw it, including adults, my son and his K-1 class, and my two-year-old.