cover image My Taxi Ride

My Taxi Ride

Paul DuBois Jacobs, Jennifer Swender, , illus. by Selina Alko. . Gibbs Smith, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4236-0073-2

The team behind My Subway Ride offers another infectiously rhythmic and invitingly hip love letter to a distinctly New York experience. The book actually takes readers on two wild journeys simultaneously. One is a literal (who cares what the meter says?) taxicab trip all around the Big Apple, "From Washington Heights to Brooklyn Heights./ Climb on in and see the sights./ Moma! Soho! Noho! Dumbo! / All around our New York town!" The other journey is more figurative, as the book initiates readers into the ways of savvy New Yorkers. They'll learn how to spot a taxi (yellow), the importance of being persistent (if a cab turns out to be off duty, "don't despair," because there are more than 12,000 in the city) and, of course, how to get one to pick you up: "Raise your arm and point your finger./ Belt it out like an opera singer:/ Hail taxi! Hey taxi!/ Ho Taxi! Yo Taxi! Whoa taxi! " Once again, Alko is totally in the groove with her co-authors; her multi-media pictures exude a vibe that's both streetwise and celebratory. To convey the city as a non-stop visual feast, she plays with framings, perspective and even gravity (one taxi drives up the side of the Empire State Building). Best of all, her portraits of New Yorkers capture the population's collective best: edgy, blithely multicultural and bighearted as all get-out. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)