"The city is the body,/ the subway is the blood,/ running through/ tunnel veins" acts as a kind of refrain in this free-form verse that seems to rock and roll like a subway on the tracks. Dubois (Abiyoyo Returns, co-written with Pete Seeger) and Swender, his wife, conduct a whirlwind underground tour of the Big Apple, tipping their hats to tourist attractions along the way: Yankee Stadium on the 4 train ("Boys of summer,/ house that Ruth built"), Coney Island on the Q, and Times Square-where "transfer is available" nearly anywhere. Alko (Show and Tell Rose) riffs on their words with an upbeat expressionism reminiscent of urban murals and gives a nod to the stations' mosaics. Together, text and artwork capture a delicious sensory overload-the train makes a music all its own ("squeak and squeal and screech") while passengers and stops become a blur of "coming and going, going and coming." Alko imagines the subway sailing up the spine of a dinosaur skeleton at the Museum of Natural History and zooming down Coney Island's legendary Cyclone roller-coaster. The unseen narrator states the trip is not always smooth ("Red signals up ahead") and the accommodations aren't luxurious ("Excuse me!" pipes one of the "sea of faces" crammed into a car). Readers may well feel as if they've been on a magical mystery tour that hits exotic places and that winds up in the best place of all: "My stop,/ my home." Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Welcome to the world underground. Tokens and turnstiles, tickets to enter." Experience "the beat and the wait and the rumble-growl" as you wait for the "squeak and squeal and screech to the stop" of the New York City subway. Hop on board and experience the city the way a native New Yorker would. In the pages of this book you will visit Yankee Stadium, the Museum of Natural History, Coney Island, Times Square, and more. You will experience the diversity of the city as you see faces of many different shapes and colors and hear "Let's go" in many different languages. The story is told in free verse/poetic prose. Its rhythm and beat almost give the feel of a subway train moving through the city. The colorful paintings have the look of murals, which might easily adorn the walls of the various stations. This book is not only one to which all New York City children could relate, but it is also a nice way to introduce non-city readers to the sights, sounds and way of life of big city living. 2004, Gibbs Smith Publisher, Ages 6 to 9.
K-Gr 3-This picture book begins: "The city is the body,/the subway is the blood,/running through/tunnel veins." From using a MetroCard to listening to musicians on a platform to standing aside when the passengers get on and off, a young narrator describes many of the sights and sounds of New York City's underground rail system. The rhythmic text, when read aloud, has a jazz beat that almost sounds like a moving subway car. The colorful illustrations show token booths, trains crowded with people of diverse backgrounds (while the text highlights many of the languages being spoken), and signs and more signs. The artwork is bright, clear, and just a little surreal as subway maps and grids are incorporated into most of the paintings. The picture for the Museum of Natural History stop shows a train traveling up a dinosaur's spine, while the cars heading for Coney Island take on the appearance of a roller coaster. This lively and informative story could be used for units on community, transportation, or city sounds.-Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
A husband-and-wife team faithfully conveys the vitality of New York City and its subway system-100 years old this year-in this lyrical offering. Here, the subway is the city's lifeblood; its tunnels are veins and the subway car "[a] mama's belly." Onomatopoeia is used effectively to convey subway sounds: "[A] light in the dark, / a floating star, / squeak and squeal and screech to the stop," as a train pulls in to the station. A diverse group of riders enters and exits in one of Alko's vibrant, full-bleed spreads, "a bit of the world in every car." Bits of mixed-media collage-textured fabric for a young girl's dress, a newspaper tucked under another rider's arm-add visual interest and depth. Familiar announcements incorporated into the verse ("Stand clear of the closing doors") lend authenticity as the trains go to Yankee Stadium, Times Square, or Coney Island. A happy ride around town. (Picture book. 4-8)