Because I Could Not Stop My Bike book cover image

Because I Could Not Stop My Bike

  • 795

By: Karen Jo Shapiro / Illustrated by: Matt Faulkner

"Because I could not stop my bike/it kindly stopped for me..."

Karen Jo Shapiro's lighthearted take on some of the most celebrated poems from English and American literature will bring a smile to readers everywhere. Twenty-six hilarious poems fill the pages of this book, and many of them should sound familiar -- if just a little off. From a little dog's version of Shakespeare to the fractured homage to Emily Dickinson of the title poem, these verses will have you laughing faster than you can say "iambic pentameter." With Matt Faulkner's witty illustrations, this is one poetry book that's pure fun.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Karen Jo Shapiro, author

Karen Jo (KJ) Shapiro is a mother, psychologist, and the author of I Must Go Down to the Beach Again and Other Poems and Because I Could Not Stop My Bike and Other Poems. An avid poetry lover since childhood, she majored in English and Spanish at Colby College where she studied many of the poems and poets that inspired her children's books. She got her graduate degree in psychology at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

Read more about Karen.

Matt Faulkner, illustrator

Matt Faulkner's first work of art was "Portrait of a Dog," etched into the oak kitchen table when he was five. Fortunately his parents were the forgiving types, and Matt's art career blossomed.

Matt graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and has done work for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes Magazine. Matt is also an award-winning children's book author and illustrator.

Read more about Matt.

Awards & Honors:

  • Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year

Editorial Reviews:

School Library Journal

In these delightful transformations of 26 classic poems, Shapiro has taken the rhythms and meters of the originals and made them her own. Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain" becomes "Oh Mommy! My Mommy!," a lament from a kid stuck in the backseat on a long car trip. Edgar Allen Poe's "Annabel Lee" becomes "Macroni and Cheese" ("It was many and many a week ago/ that I and my sister Louise/ first tried out a food that you might know/ called macaroni and cheese"). Each selection begins with apologies to the original poet. Although the best audience for this book might be English-major parents of seven-and eight-year-olds, most of the poems do have child appeal, at least on some level. Faulkner's comic watercolor-and-ink pictures add a light touch that is totally appropriate for this fun book. With apologies to John Donne, Shapiro notes in a brief foreword: "Do not ask for whom the poems are told/ The poems are told for you." Indeed. A great concept with a highly appealing treatment.


ISBN: 978-1-58089-105-9

ISBN: 978-1-60734-168-0 PDF
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 7-10
Page count: 32
81/2 x 11

If you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:
One Big Rain
Hey There, Stink Bug!