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Subway Hardcover – May 25, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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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.
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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 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061577790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061577796
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Timothy Haugh VINE VOICE on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, this book has a very limited market. If you don't live in NYC or aren't familiar with the City's subway system, then I doubt you or your children will see the appeal. On the other hand, if you have a son like mine, who loves to ride the rails and look at the subway map, then this book is fantastic.

The text is simple and the rhymes are a bit weak in spots, but the artwork is satisfyingly impressionistic with plenty of color contrast on a generally black background. Most importantly, the subway line symbols are all there as well as some of the routes, which my son loves to point out to me.

The fact of the matter is, my son wants this book read to him every night. To me, that's high praise indeed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fun text/illustrations, esp. for a regular train rider like my son. I bought it used, and while the condition of the book itself was fine, several of the book's comments on various train lines are now outdated, and confused my 4year old.
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By Ala on January 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so funny. Our boys like subway trips and the loger they are the better. We borrowed the book from our library before and the little guys loved it. The illustrations are very simple however, they make us laugh every time. We decided to purchase the book to remind us of these wonderful subway trip memories.
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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Story with less words and the NYC subway color/line theme woven throughout- almost jazz theme. Great book for a read with kid/s and perhaps followed up with a subway ride the next day! Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of my two year old grandson's favorite books! He knows all the trains and their colors and some of their station stops too. On one page the author illustrates how you can go from Chambers Street to Columbus Circle on the 1 train (boring!) or you could do a grand detour and take nine trains. As a Christmas gift to my grandson, his dad (my son) took him on the grand detour with my grandson's mother, sister and me! What a fun adventure we had!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my 2 year old nephew, who lives in NYC. He loves it and asks for someone to read to him all the time. It's a fun book that is also nice to look at. I wish it was a little bit longer, but I enjoy the illustrations and the way the city and subway lines are portrayed.
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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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