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Mike and the Bike — The Tour de France for Kids

July 8, 2006 – The Internet destination for children based on the popular book and music CD, Mike and the Bike, by Grammy Award-winning guitarist, Michael Ward (Ben Harper, The Wallflowers), www.MikeandtheBike.com, delivers the thrill and excitement of the 2006 Tour de France to children everyday throughout July.

Together with partners Trek Bikes and OLN (Outdoor Living Network), the kid-friendly Web site presents a comprehensive package that opens with a video greeting from OLN TV tour commentator Paul Sherwin and daily blogs from author Michael Ward on the results of the day’s competition. An interactive map of the tour featuring Mike, the star of Mike and the Bike, gives kids details on each leg of the tour along with interesting factoids about the tour terrain, the distance, the riders and much more. All visitors to the site can enter online for the chance to win a brand new bicycle from Trek Bikes. A winner will be chosen every week throughout the summer.

“I created Mike and the Bike as a way for parents to help introduce their children to the fun and fitness of cycling. Now, just a year after bringing it to the marketplace, the cycling community has embraced the book’s main character and Mike has emerged as professional cycling’s unofficial ambassador to younger generations and their parents,” said Ward.

Mike’s mission is to promote active lifestyles through cycling while encouraging kids of all ages to discover activities and sports to participate in and enjoy their entire lives. The Web site is committed to promoting the sport of cycling, individual cyclists and cycling events such as the Tour de France, which will be featured as they happen throughout the year.

George Starks, Vice President of Mike and the Bike publisher Cookie Jar Publishing, said, “Mike is supported by cycling personalities throughout the sport and is perfectly positioned in the marketplace to capture the attention and imagination of kids and the relationship they can have with their bikes. We look forward to providing children of those who follow the Tour de France with content and information in a kid-friendly format that is relevant, appropriate and interesting.”

In addition to its comprehensive coverage of the Tour de France, the Web site offers a wide variety of information and interactive activities including:

“¢ An entire section filled with Games, Puzzles, Mazes and Word Search Printables
“¢ “Wish Your Favorite Cyclist Luck” Photo Gallery with user upload
“¢ New Music Section with Karaoke Jukebox
“¢ Mike and the Bike iPod Book download
“¢ Mike and the Bike Live Flipbook Web cast
“¢ Children’s Cycling Movie Section
“¢ “Share Your Favorite Cycling Story” Section
“¢ Lance Armstrong Audio Book Introduction
“¢ Cycling Safety and Bike Maintenance
“¢ Helmet Fitting Guide
“¢ Nutrition Tips
“¢ Online Store

A first-time book written by Grammy Award-winning guitarist Michael Ward (Ben Harper, The Wallflowers), Mike and the Bike is a fun and inspiring tale of a boy, his best friend and the adventures they share together. Designed to introduce children to the sport, adventure — and fun — that surrounds cycling, Mike and the Bike blends humor and music to connect with today’s kids as the book’s hero enjoys adventures around the world and back home — where he goes to bed wearing his helmet, ready for the next day!

As a concerned parent, Michael Ward found himself having to compete in another realm: motivating kids to exercise more — and play videogames less. While on tour with The Wallflowers, a friend recommended Ward invite 6-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong Lance Armstrong to a concert. Ward didn’t actually expect the legendary cyclist to return his call — but Lance did, and the two hit it off immediately.

Their friendship continued through the years, with Lance and Michael riding together and Michael regularly performing in benefit concerts for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Encouraged by his legendary long-time friend, Ward created Mike and the Bike as an entertaining and musical way in which kids can discover the joy, freedom and fun of bike-riding.

Featuring a foreword by Lance Armstrong, an accompanying 30-minute music CD featuring original songs composed and performed by Ward and his son, Tennessee and a special narration by the “Voice of Cycling” Phil Liggett, Mike and the Bike rode into retail on July 1 — on the eve of Lance Armstrong’s final Tour de France. The book/CDs are available at most major bookstores including Barnes & Noble and Borders, Jamba Juice® Stores, REI, and many bicycle shops.

Mike and the Bike is illustrated in a retro-contemporary style by Bob Thomson, a musician friend of Michael’s who has become an avid and accomplished cyclist himself.

Mike and the Bike is published by Cookie Jar Publishing, the book division of the Cookie Jar Group.

ABOUT THE COOKIE JAR GROUP

The Cookie Jar Group develops, produces, distributes and markets quality products to children, their caregivers, parents and teachers. Cookie Jar Entertainment, Inc., The Cookie Jar Group’s entertainment operation, is the producer of such renowned children’s productions as “Arthur” and “Caillou.” The educational business of The Cookie Jar Group, Carson-Dellosa ranks as one of the largest providers of supplemental education materials in the US, reaching nearly 2 million teachers with a wide array of books, classroom decoratives, puzzles and games, toys, science kits, flash cards, manipulatives and more. Carson Dellosa company High Reach Learning reaches daycare providers and Head Start centers with curriculum as a direct supplier of early childhood materials for children 3 months to seven years of age. Specialty publisher Rainbow Bridge Publishing operates as a standalone division of Carson-Dellosa. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Rainbow Bridge Publishing targets the preschool-8 educational segment, and markets its catalog under a number of specialty product lines, which include the best-selling summer workshop series Summer Bridge Activitiesâ„¢. The original summer learning workbook that has sold nearly 6 million copies, Summer Bridge Activities series is designed to keep children academically active during the summer months by reviewing and previewing basic skills in order to “bridge” the new school year.





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