When little Etta the Elephant goes to her Aunt Ellen’s house, she takes a journey through bicycle-filled Cycle City, a town filled with bikes of all kinds! At the end of the day, a special surprise awaits Etta—the most amazing bicycle parade imaginable. Detail-rich illustrations in this fun seek-and-find book paint the colors of this unusual town where everyone rides some kind of bike—whether a penny-farthing, a two-wheeled unicycle, or a conference bike, everyone is on wheels! Packed with prompts and lots to see on every page, this is a sweet story for the sharpest of eyes.
Where did you originally get the idea for Cycle City?
Cycle City was informed by my own experiences on bikes. When my son Finn was born, my husband and I immediately searched for ways to transport him by bike. We bought a box bike and began learning about how different set-ups and styles of bikes can meet the needs of their riders. Not long after the box bike, we continued exploring our cargo biking needs by acquiring a cycle truck, then a longtail, and later a tandem. When we lived in California, people were constantly commenting on our bikes and asking questions about them. This interest really sparked my desire to make a book about bikes, to share the idea that any type of transportation is possible by bike.
Did a particular person/animal inspire the creation of Etta?
One of the main characters is Etta, an elephant who is visiting her Aunt Ellen in Cycle City. Her dad is Ed, who is named after my son Finn’s oldest and most beloved stuffy, Eddie the Elephant. So I would say that Finn was the inspiration for Etta. Finn also inspired a great deal of the format of the story with his intense interest in detail-heavy, busy books!