The History of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" Comes to Life in New Kids' Book
March 9, 2017 - St. Petersburg, Florida - For over a century, the Indianapolis 500 has been the world's greatest automobile race. Starting today, kids and their parents have a new way to learn about the drama and action that has earned the Indy 500 the nickname, "Greatest Spectacle in Racing". Like the two previous Apex Legends illustrated children's books, "The Spectacle - Celebrating the History of the Indianapolis 500" will tell the inspiring stories of the many amazing drivers, cars and teams that have given their all to win this coveted event.
"The Spectacle - Celebrating the History of the Indianapolis 500," is unlike any book about the famous event that has ever been created for kids... or adults. From Ray Harroun to Alexander Rossi, readers get immersed in Indy 500 history. The book is broken into small topical sections to make it easier for kids to follow the development of the sport from its inception through today. Young race fans will gain an understanding of how Indy cars evolved over the years, who some of the top teams and drivers have been throughout the race's 100-year history, and many of the most dramatic events that have taken place at "The Brickyard".
"I knew that a century's worth of information about the Indy 500 could be a lot for a young reader to take in. I designed the book so they could jump to any section and learn about facts related to that topic," said Chris Workman, author / illustrator of the book and founder of Apex Legends. "If they want to learn about the closest finishes in Indy 500 history, they can jump to that. Or, they can learn about "Offy" engines and who has won the race four times. The book is best enjoyed when read from start to end, but a parent wanting to read it to a pre-schooler can easily break it into multiple quick readings for bedtime, waiting at a restaurant or wherever the time allows."
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Historian Donald Davidson assisted in reviewing drafts to validate the information portrayed in the book. "For young students and race fans who are taking an interest in the history of the Indianapolis 500 and would like to learn more, this book will answer A LOT of their questions," said Davidson.
There is more to "The Spectacle" than serving as a non-fiction reference book for young readers. Like Apex Legends' other racing-themed children's books, this title works to weave in an emotional connection to the subject matter and show kids and their parents a "path" to how to learn more about the motorsport-related topic. The father and his children depicted in the book become narrators, a thread weaving the dialogue throughout the book.
"I saw an opportunity to draw characters from my other books into the mix and lighten up on the factual information," said Workman. "I also thought it could be fun to use those characters to create a setting for the book and a fun close that involves a trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. The idea behind all of my books, and especially this one, is to grow interest in the sport; there is nowhere better to do that than the Hall of Fame and Museum! The close of the book gives the next step on the path to future race fans."
"I created a relatable scenario where a young boy finds his dad's old Indy car toy and begins asking questions. Their dialogue continues to build until the dad takes old books and photos and sits down with the boy and his sister to tell them the history of the race. I think that is similar to how many kids are educated about the event by their race fan parents," Workman said. "Now parents can use this book as a tool to educate their kids about the Indy 500."
Four-Time winner and Indy legend A.J. Foyt makes a special appearance in the book. "Including A.J. Foyt in the book was really special and important to me. Not only is he such a visible ambassador for the event having participated as a driver and / or team owner for nearly 60 years, but the opening exchange between the boy and his dad was inspired by an actual A.J. Foyt Gilmore Racing toy car I had as a kid and still own."
Like all of Apex Legends other books, a portion of proceeds is donated to reputable children's charities. Racing for Cancer is the primary beneficiary of these donations, with up to 20% of sales from books sold on www.apexlegends.com given to this great cause during "Double Donation Drives". A small wholesale donation is also provided for books sold through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.
2014 Indianapolis 500 winner and Racing for Cancer founder Ryan Hunter-Reay wrote the book's Foreword and will assist with some promotional aspects related to the book. "I'm excited to endorse Chris' great work and appreciate his support in donating a percentage of proceeds benefiting Racing For Cancer," said Hunter-Reay. "This is a great way to share our exciting sport of racing with your children while helping support the cancer community at the same time!"
"Between A.J. Foyt and Ryan Hunter-Reay's involvement plus the support I have received from IndyCar, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and many other active teams, it is great to see the sport get excited about this project," said Workman. "A book like 'The Spectacle' has been needed to help engage the next generation of Indy 500 fans. I am proud to play my role in that!"
"The Spectacle - Celebrating the History of the Indianapolis 500" is having a soft launch event in at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend, which will include Workman signing copies of the book at the IndyCar Fan Zone on Friday from 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., Saturday, 1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. and again Sunday morning from 9:45 a.m. until 10:15 a.m., all times local.
Books are also available now at www.apexlegends.com. Beginning April 1, the book will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book retailers. Please visit www.apexlegends.com.
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