Down in the Subway

Down in the Subway

by Miriam Cohen, Melanie Hope Greenberg, Melanie Hope Greenberg
     
 

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The storyteller's voice sets the scene vividly: "It was hot in that subway train. Ohhh, yes!" Young Oscar is swinging round and round a pole-and peeking at the one cool rider in the car. She's the Island Lady, and with a smile at Oscar she's just pulled a blue Island breeze out of her shopping bag. Then the green Caribbean Sea itself, a picnic lunch of ackee rice,… See more details below

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Overview

The storyteller's voice sets the scene vividly: "It was hot in that subway train. Ohhh, yes!" Young Oscar is swinging round and round a pole-and peeking at the one cool rider in the car. She's the Island Lady, and with a smile at Oscar she's just pulled a blue Island breeze out of her shopping bag. Then the green Caribbean Sea itself, a picnic lunch of ackee rice, salt fish, callaloo, soursop soup, guava, pineapple, and coconut tarts. And, look, here's the Calypso Man. And, listen, there's a whole hot train full of people singing along and dancing to a sudden steel band. The pictures offer up a feast of color and movement. They seem to dance themselves, just as Oscar and his family do at the Island Lady's urging.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A routine summer ride on the subway is transformed into a brief, toe-tapping Caribbean holiday in Cohen's (Will I Have a Friend?) animated tale. But Greenberg's (Aunt Lilly's Laundromat) gouache art, with its electric hues and primitive style, supplies the bulk of the book's energy. The artist fluidly captures the ample magic that emanates from the multicolored straw bag of a friendly island woman dressed in native garb. The sweltering passengers' grim expressions melt into exuberant smiles as the Island Lady pulls out of her bag "the cool Island breeze," the green Caribbean Sea, a picnic lunch featuring island fare and the Calypso Man, singing a catchy if hokey rhyming tune. Her piece de resistance: "an Island town," featuring palm trees, bright pink buildings and a street full of people "doing the jump-up." Cohen's intermittent attempts at island dialect often fall flat, but her inventive idea for transforming the tedium of subway riding--creatively realized in Greenberg's sprightly pictures--will lift the spirits of any child familiar with subway travel. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Janet Morgan Stoeke
While riding the hot subway through New York, young Oscar and his mother encounter the Island Lady. She speaks in a lilting island dialect that captures the essence of Caribbean life. And Oscar is enraptured by all she offers: a cool blue island breeze, the sea, special foods, even music from a steel band! All this is very real, not presented as a story, though parents will recognize that the Island Lady had a way with words. Appropriately primitive and brightly colored gouache paintings do a nice job of bringing the text to life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932065244
Publisher:
Star Bright Books, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/28/2003
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
884,074
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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