Inspiring younger riders to get into motorcycling is perhaps the biggest buzz subject in the moto industry, as kids and young adults aren’t filling the two-wheel hole being dug by Boomers and Gen-Xers aging out of the activity we all adore. Pundits observe that children are less exposed to motorcycling than they were in generations past when motorbikes were emblematic for adventure and fun.

Paul Owen Lewis has been creating award-winning picture books for more than 30 years, and he’s been riding motorcycles even longer than that. He’s combined his love for motorcycles with his career in publishing by creating MotoMice, a children’s picture book about a diverse group of riders joining up on their way to a rally that promotes acceptance of the positive aspects of motorcycling and harmoniously bringing together disparate groups of riders.

Book Review: The Adventures Of Mimi And Moto The Motorcycle Monkeys

The idea of a familial sense of rider unity came to Lewis early in his riding career when he purchased his first bike, Honda’s cult classic CB400F, to save money while going to art school.

“Besides falling in love with riding for its own sake, I soon discovered the other riders out there were nothing like the sullen, angry-at-the-establishment types Hollywood always portrayed,” Lewis explains. ”Instead, every rider I encountered in the real world, whose appearance, background and occupations varied widely, proved accepting and friendly. It quickly became apparent that I hadn’t just purchased a motorcycle, I had joined a family.”

The characters in MotoMice mimic the various kinds of riders that exist in the real world and teaches that unity and diversity can co-exist in like-minded fellowship.

Rat, the main character, rides a rigid Shovelhead and embodies the classic biker, while Ma & Pa are the middle-aged touring couple. Roxy is a female sportbiker also known as Rocket Girl, while Sparky is a green-minded e-bike enthusiast. The environment is place where everyone is welcome, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or what you ride.

“I love the fact that wherever I go there will be other riders who will welcome me like family simply because I’m on two wheels like they are,” Lewis relates. “They’ll wave, say hello at the gas pump, and come to my aid should I have a breakdown or, God forbid, an accident. Sometimes I think if everyone treated each other like we motorcycle riders treat each other, there wouldn’t be so many problems in the world.”

MotoMice is illustrated with colored pencils in the artwork, combining as many as six separate colors to achieve the desired lighting and tone effects. Because Lewis is a moto enthusiast, accurate rendering the motorcycles in the book required extra work during illustration.

“Motorcycles are complex objects, and drawing them convincingly was the most challenging, especially since I wanted to include details that actual motorcyclists would recognize and appreciate.”

Rat’s old-school chopper is in most scenes in the book, and Lewis says the only components that are unrealistic or exaggerated are the thickness of the tires and exhaust pipes to give them a more kid-friendly and toylike appearance. Other aspects designed to appeal to young children are the simple patterned phrases and color-coded key words in the book.

MotoMice would make a nice gift for the budding riders in our lives, and we applaud Lewis for delivering a fun, kid-friendly book that delivers a positive message within the context of motorcycling.

More info can be found at Motomice.com. It’s available from Amazon for $16.99.