cover image UNDER NEW YORK

UNDER NEW YORK

Linda Oatman High, Author, Robert Rayevsky, Illustrator

High (A Christmas Star) and Rayevsky (Squash It! A True and Ridiculous Tale) conduct an irresistibly quirky, good-natured tour of the subterranean goings-on in Gotham. Rayevsky sets the tone with his witty mixed-media illustrations, which marry urban grays and browns with zippy, funky draftsmanship in a truly original style. His every figure is full of life; even the animals have clear personalities. He divides each spread horizontally, showing the bustling city above- and below-ground. The underground scenarios include subway stations, "miles of pipes and wires," the construction site of a water tunnel, a jazz club and a shopping mall. (New Yorkers may notice that the scenes don't always match up, however: a street scene on Madison and 49th is paired with a subway station further west and downtown). High's breezy narrative does not target specific locations, yet does include marvelous details, such as a 1935 report in the New York Times of an alligator in the city sewers and the revelation that, when the circus comes to town, elephants walk through the Lincoln Tunnel (under the Hudson River). A whimsical way to savor a bite of the Big Apple. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)