SUBWAY

Anastasia Suen, Author, Karen Katz, Illustrator
Anastasia Suen, Author, Karen Katz, Illustrator , illus. by Karen Katz. Viking $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-670-03622-6
Reviewed on: 02/02/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Board Books - 22 pages - 978-0-670-01109-4
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"We go down/ to go uptown/ down, down, down/ in the subway"—opens the text as a mother and young daughter embark on an exuberant underground excursion. In 14 simple quatrains, Suen (Window Music ) turns city life into one big happy hub-bub; every third line consists of a key monosyllabic word repeated three times and printed in contrasting colored type, driving home the percussive sensations of navigating underground travel. The illustrations channel the zest of a kindergarten-age art enthusiast. Katz (Counting Kisses ) creates a merry metropolis that is both multicolored and multicultural; all the inhabitants sport brightly patterned clothing and even brighter smiles. Capitalizing on the book's horizontal format, the full-bleed spreads portray the subway experience from a variety of perspectives. Katz catches buskers boogying and passengers coming and going; she follows the trains as they snake through the tunnels; etc. In one cheeky vignette, she shows all the riders from the neck down—a sort of toddler's-eye view that should strike a chord with the audience. The characters' glee is so infectious that even die-hard junior suburbanites will find themselves aspiring to the straphanger's life. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)

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