cover image Down in the Subway

Down in the Subway

DK Publishing, Miriam Cohen. DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley), $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7894-2510-2

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.)