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Subway Hardcover – May 25, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 510L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061577790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061577796
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Niemann (The Pet Dragon) navigates New York's subterranean system in this playful love letter to public transportation. Readers follow two children and their father, pictured as transit map–style stick figures, who spend a rainy day exploring routes. "Riding the A requires some patience/ if you plan to visit all forty-four stations," they advise. The trains occasionally acquire some light personification ("The 7 is on his way to meet... / his friends at Times Square, 42nd Street!"); after the F and G lines separate at Bergen Street, "The G says, 'Don't cry. I will meet you/ again at Roosevelt Avenue!"). The tone is largely celebratory-- rate hikes and construction don't come up--but Niemann finds pleasure in unexpected places, too ("There are plenty of critters on the tracks of the J/ enjoying the subway all night and all day"). His folksy gouaches are color-coded to match the various subway lines, and his pitchblack backdrops make the colors explode, while alluding to tunnel interiors. An abundance of droll details will delight regular straphangers and stir the imaginations of transportation-obsessed children. Ages 2–5.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—This colorful, vivacious, child-centered title began with a post on Niemann's blog, Abstract City, in which he describes a day of riding the subway with his two sons just for fun. The artist uses thick gouache paint to render his characters as standard pictograms, akin to those on city signs, with curved edges for hands and feet, and the technique creates a chalky texture that looks like correction fluid. Visual communication lords over the text. Niemann uses many tropes for expression: the youngsters, excited to spend the rainy day on the subway, hi-five. The agony of the adventure coming to an end is punctuated with tears bursting from one son and father dragging the other one, boneless. The spreads of the dedication page, the A train and all its 44 stops, and the wild crisscrossing array of colored lines under Times Square mirroring the famed city lights on the surface, capture the glory of this venerable transportation system. The rhyming text and references to subway lore add chuckles for older readers, but the meter does create an occasional stumble. A sure hit with most youngsters, especially those who are transfixed by trains.—Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Christoph Niemann's illustrations have appeared on the covers of The New Yorker, Wired, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine and American Illustration. His work has won numerous awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Art Directors Club and American Illustration. He is the author of several children's books, among them "The Pet Dragon," which teaches Chinese characters to young readers and most recently "I LEGO N.Y", where he depicts New York through ultra minimal lego sculptures. For the Website of the New York Times he writes and illustrates a blog called "Abstract City" . After 11 years in New York, he moved to Berlin with his wife, Lisa, and their three sons. His web site is christophniemann.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
I purchased the book for a 3 year old.
Ashlee O'neal
While the text and illustrations are very simple, they are also very clever -- the schematic of Times Square is actually quite accurate.
Kevin Troy
If you like Niemann's Op-Art pieces for the NY Times, you'll enjoy this book as an adult too.
Karen Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Catherine W. Hughes on November 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
From dawn to dark, two young children and their father ride the subway all around New York City. Brightly colored illustrations, against a black backdrop, bring the subway lines to life. Young children, from two to five, will adore this adventurous picture book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on January 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book takes three guys (a dad and two sons) off the roads and onto the subways of New York City. The people are drawn as if they are universal sign characters -- like they just stepped off the mens' room door. Amazing how expressive these illustrations are. Great graphic representation of the New York Subway system.

Great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Subway is an interesting look at the New York Subway system and is certainly a visual treat. The basic white characters and the neon colors really pop on a black background, and the illustrator does a great job of conveying the train's motion.
This will appeal to any small train lover, even those from my part of the country who might not know what a subway is! It doesnt have that read aloud flow that could have made it even better, but I think kids will be too busy tracing all those neon colored roads to really notice. Unless you live in New York, the maps with all the street names might not hold much significance, although they do give a nice perspective on just how far the subway travels. This is a recommend for train lovers as a good way to introduce what might be a train they have never seen before. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Subway" is a marvelous kids art-adventure story that describes a rainy day of exploring the New York City subway system by two young boys and their father. Based on the actual experiences of the author and his sons, "Subway" is an ode to the MTA, NYC's wonderful mass transit system, which is described as "a way of life" for New Yorkers. The incredible black and primary colored illustrations keep the illusion of hurtling through the dark tunnels at incredible speeds to predictable destinations. Every page is a graphic tour de force, with careful couplets describing the action of the subway for each separate line. "Subway" is sure to enchant children ages 2-5 with its magical maps and mysterious pathways through the subterranean world of the NYC subway system.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Teresa on November 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't know why the webpage wouldn't allow me to put 5 stars. I originally borrowed this book from the library to prepare my 3 and 5 year olds for their trip to the big apple. They fell in love with the book and wanted to read it everyday. They would bring out the subway map, look at the various lines and ask me where they go. And they learned to read the words. Very interactive. Now I have to buy a copy to keep.
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By Kevin Troy on January 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We gave my three-year-old son a copy of this as a holiday present. He's a train enthusiast and, as New Yorkers, we ride the subway together frequently, but I was still surprised at how much he took to this book to the exclusion of everything else on his shelf. He's asked for it at bedtime every day since then (i.e. for the past two weeks!). The hardcover edition features a dust jacket that he loves to spread out on the bed, tracing the various lines. While the text and illustrations are very simple, they are also very clever -- the schematic of Times Square is actually quite accurate. Niemann has a whimsical view of the world that comes through brilliantly in little details.
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By rosemarie holle on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My grandson & I go to the library. This is where he picked out this book. When the time came to return it he wanted to keep it. He does go into the city with his mom once in awhile. But at the end of the 2nd renewal it had to go back. This is a 3 year old that does not forget anything. So we purchased the book from Amazon as a Halloween gift. He is thrilled and now knows some of the trains and their stops.
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By Meng Zhang on April 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 3.5 y/o new york city dwelling, train loving boy loves this book. Perfect for anyone who is familiar with the NYC subway system.
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