For two young boys, nothing is more exciting than a day on the subway trains! An innovative, clever, and exuberant exploration of the New York City subway system, from the always brilliant Christoph Niemann.
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For two young boys, nothing is more exciting than a day on the subway trains! An innovative, clever, and exuberant exploration of the New York City subway system, from the always brilliant Christoph Niemann.
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Editorial Reviews

Becca Zerkin
Niemann captures this orderly world in stark colors and minimalist images featuring stick people straight out of an M.T.A. safety poster—flat, white figures with detached spherical heads—but with a decidedly humorous slant…Other subway books…follow a similar story line: a family descends into the station, observes the sights and sounds of an arriving train, takes a ride and finally exits at their home. The real fun here for young readers is Niemann's humor and respect for details.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
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. (June)
ALA Booklist
“Distinctively urban and bold…train lovers everywhere will enjoy this picture-book ride.”
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 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
Kirkus Reviews
"It's cold and wet. What can be done? / A trip on the subway, just for fun!" A father and his two children run down into the New York subway to ride the rails and explore the trains all day long. Every line is represented as the family hops from track to track. Set on stark, black backgrounds with free-flowing brush strokes, the trains swoop and turn on ribbons of appropriately colored paths. And when many of the lines converge in the middle of the book, aptly at Times Square, they tangle like spaghetti strings. After a full day of fun, the children climb out, ready for subway dreams at night. In a witty visual twist, the humans appear as traffic-sign-style white pictograms, with round heads floating over stick bodies (and occasionally attired to suit the text). Inspired by Niemann's clever New York Times blog, "Abstract City," this artistic tour de force will appeal to New Yorkers and visitors alike. Eagle-eyed enthusiasts will carefully plot every stop, spotting subway humor along the way. That the meter occasionally strains is the only false step on this fresh, striking subway tour. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062066732
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/22/2010
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Sales rank: 477,616
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • File size: 10 MB

Meet the Author

Christoph Niemann is also the creator of the picture books Subway, The Pet Dragon, and The Police Cloud, as well as the blog Abstract City at newyorktimes.com. He has illustrated covers for the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and the New York Times Magazine. The artist lives with his family in Berlin, Germany, and New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012



    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

    Wonderful illustrations !

    Recommend to parents that ride the subways.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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