cover image Subway


Christoph Niemann, Greenwillow, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-157779-6

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)