cover image Ready, Set, Run! The Amazing New York City Marathon

Ready, Set, Run! The Amazing New York City Marathon

Leslie Kimmelman, illus. by Jessie Hartland. Random House Studio, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-5934-3365-2

“It’s a BIG DEAL to run in the New York City Marathon,” but conversational prose by Kimmelman (The Eight Knights of Hanukkah) and naïf-style gouache vignettes from Hartland (Alice Waters Cooks Up a Food Revolution) make this world-famous sporting event feel relatable to young readers—from training and race-eve prep (“Some eat big spaghetti dinners”) to the moment when an exhausted but happy runner falls asleep still holding a participant’s medal (“What a city! What a day!”). Callouts labeled “EXTRA!” throughout add facts, but the focus—including a wonderful gatefold of the race’s start (“poundpoundpoundpoundpound”)—stays mostly on the stampede of runners of varying abilities, ages, body types, and skin tones. Spreads that align with the real event’s lively spirit overview the race’s route while spotlighting participants moving fast and slow, in costume and not, for good causes and to settle a rivalry (“Who’s faster, police officers or firefighters?”). As all of New York gets caught up in the excitement—with onlookers waving cheeky signs (“You are NOT almost there”) and shouting “Keepgoingkeepgoingkeepgoingkeepgoingkeepgoing!”—readers are likely to break into a cheer as well. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Amy Stern, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Book Group. (Aug.)