Rolling Tricycle
The Remarkable Riderless Runaway Tricycle (book cover)

The Remarkable Riderless
Runaway Tricyle

Hardcover: Out of Print
Softcover: Classic Edition In Print

vailable from
Apple Island Books

Bruce's Book
Hardcover 1977 - Houghton Mifflin
ISBN 0-395-26496-0
Softcover 1983 - Apple Island Books
ISBN 0-934314-00-8
Tricycle Video
Personal Note

"A whiz of a reading adventure, the book is one for adults as well as kids to marvel over."

Publishers Weekly, February 20, 1978

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Personal Note

The tricycle has logged many miles visiting schools with me all across the US. It's even been greeted at schools by other tricycles, and when having lunch in the teacher's room, I've even eaten more than one tricycle cake. The tricycle was actually thrown away in the Kennebunkport Dump in 1977, perhaps because it was missing a wheel. It has since starred not only in the book but also the video. In 1998 the book was reissued in a Classic Edition with sixteen pages of background information added yet the price remained the same. The softcover edition is in its fifth priting.

The Classic Edition is in memory of Henry "Butch" Welch, the rubbish man, February 4, 1935-December 27, 1984.

Live web cam in Cape Porpoise where the tricycle rolled off the the pier, and also the lighthouse scene for "the end of the line" in Grandfather's Trolley.

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Not to be confused with the movie adaptation, the signed video was a project that was made by teachers from the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf. They obtained a grant to make it so. I provided permission to use the book at no cost and, as you can see, the use of the actual tricycle.

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Jason's old tricycle was gone. It looked worn out to his parents. So they threw it away. Now, along with the other trash at the dump, it is about to be plowed under by a bulldozer. But this is no ordinary tricycle. On its own, this remarkable tricycle begins rolling on a precarious trip back home through the streets of Kennebunkport, Maine.

In an imaginative blend of fantasy and photography, Bruce McMillan captures the dashing pell-mell journey of a remarkable riderless runaway tricycle. This vintage velocipede is heading for an ending that will truly satisfy any child who has ever been separated from a dearly loved possession

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Horn Book Magazine
June 1978

"Each black-and-white photograph freezes a moment . . . deftly balancing the concepts of realism and fantasy, constraint and freedom."

Bruce McMillan, Author-Photographer
The Remarkable Riderless Runaway Tricycle
CIP 48pp. 10 1/4" x 8 1/4".
Houghton, 1978
ISBN: 0-395-26496-0 $6.95

Jason feels sad that his parents have consigned his tricycle to the town dump. The tricycle, however, with an insouciance and wishfulness reminiscent of the red balloon in the famous film, does not submit to the edict. About to be plowed under by a bulldozer, the tricycle escapes and finds its way home to Jason, passing on its way a ruminating cow, a workman on a lobster boat, a curious black cat, a trolley brakeman, and other sundry spectators. Each black-and-white photograph freezes a moment in the hectic journey of the child's velocipede - deftly balancing the concepts of realism and fantasy, constraint and freedom. C.W.D.

This copyrighted © review originally appeared in The Horn Book Magazine and appears here with permission.

Kirkus Reviews
May 15, 1978

"McMillan . . . is no amateur photographer."

McMillan, Bruce
Illus. with photos.
Houghton Mifflin
4/26 LC 78-27147
SBN: 395-26496-0

McMillan's full-page black-and-white photos give a documentary look to what is really a couldn't happen fabrication about Jason's tricycle. Discarded by Jason's parents and taken to the dump, the tricycle falls from the bulldozer's bucket and goes rolling off past a cow, across the trolley tracks, off a pier into a lobster boat, past the shops in town, and finally (after more adventures) right up to the stoop where Jason sits missing his trike. Set in Kennebunkport, Maine, whose residents posed for the photos, this makes simpletons of all the grown-ups involved from the "dump man" Ernest who chases the tricycle yelling "Stop! Stop! You're my trash!" through fireman Bob who squirts the tricycle with his hose to various head-scratching (Well I'll be!") and shrieking, package spilling others. Their overplaying, along with all the local landmarks, gives this the air of a well-staged amateur production great fun for those who know the cast and setting, perhaps a diverting curiosity for others. (McMillan, though, is no amateur photographer.)

This copyrighted © review originally appeared in Kirkus Reviews and appears here with permission.

Bruce note: I always tell my university classes, "Remember, you get to do the book and they get to do the review. Which would you rather be doing?" Read on . . .

School Library Journal
May 1978

"Tragedy of tragedies."

McMILLAN, Bruce. The Remarkable Riderless Runaway Tricycle. photogs. by author. 47p. Houghton. Apr. 1978. PLB $6.95. ISBN 0-395-26496O. LC 77-19027.

PreS-Gr 2 - Tragedy of tragedies. A perfectly good tricycle is thrown away and lands in the Kennebunkport Dump. But wait - it escapes the clutches of bulldozer, avoids a smelly grave and careens down the road past surprised cow and screeching train to fall off the end of a pier. The posed black-and-white photographs show that the tricycle's trip is not yet over as it rolls on making a nuisance of itself to an artist, a boat painter, and a cat. Eventually, it ends up back in the lonely arms of Jason, the young son of the wretched parents who perpetrated this foul deed. Some kids might enjoy this illogical escapade, but the ground rules for creating temporary suspension of disbelief in a fantasy world are disregarded here. Craighton Hippenhammer, Decatur Public Library, IL.

This copyrighted © review originally appeared in School Library Journal and appears here with permission.

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