Amy Dixon, Author
Sam Denlinger, Illustrator
Sky Pony Press, Fiction, 2012
Suitable for Ages: 4 and up
Themes: Pursue your dreams, New York City Marathon, Mice, Running, Determination
Opening: “Every New York City mouse dreamed of living under the bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island. They didn’t have to dodge taxicabs or escape hungry sewer cats…But there was one day each year that their life under the bridge was not so dreamy…Marathon day!”
Synopsis: Most of the New York City mice thought Marathon Day was the worst day of the year because they had to be careful they wouldn’t get stepped on. Everyone except Preston, who dreamed of running the big marathon. Preston wanted to be extraordinary. His papa told him that “mice scamper, not run.” So he started training for the marathon in secret. When the day arrived he got up early and lined up with all the big sneakers. The starting gun sounded and he began to run and run and run! As he reached the last few miles he started to stumble and his body ached. But an unexpected surprise awaited him at the end.
Why I like this book: Amy Dixon wrote a charming book that carries a big message for children — pursue your dreams. The story is fun, inspiring and engaging. Children will cheer Preston to the finish line. Sam Denlinger’s illustrations are colorful and lively. I love how the cover shows such confidence in Preston’s face. My favorite illustration is Preston at the starting line looking at a sea of over-sized sneakers and hoping he doesn’t get squashed. This is a very clever idea for a book! I don’t believe I’ve seen a picture book about a marathon! Kudos to the author for creating a fun read for children. And, this is a great book for parents to use to encourage their young ones to run and exercise. Teacher’s can check out a discussion guide here. Visit Amy Dixon’s website for more information.