Count on the Subway by Paul DuBois Jacobs
Illustrations by Dan Yaccarino
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 13, 2014
1 MetroCard, Momma and me.
Down 2 flights—to catch the 3.
4 turnstiles, singers 5.
A rumble, a screech . . . the train arrives!
This bright, young counting book is a trip through the New York City subway system. Hand in hand, child and mother see colorful subway signs and funny passengers, watch trains screeching by, and make new friends. With bold illustrations and a playful, rhyming text, this is not only a counting book, but also a tribute to New York and a sweet story of a child and parent navigating the city together.
When I was a kid, we lived in New Brunswick, New Jersey. New York City was just around the corner and I was never impressed. I have no actual memories of our trips to the city, only pictures, and I promise you I look absolutely miserable in them. After graduating from college in Boston, I had a few job interviews in the city and the thought of moving to a place that was just a slab of concrete and metal, made me anxious. Luckily or unluckily, I didn't get any of those jobs and I moved back home to North Carolina, a place with trees and gardens and greens stuff everywhere.
I do love the subway, but more for its convenience and cost than anything else. Most subway stations are old and hot, a blessing in the winter and torture in the summer. For a child who lives in New York City, I imagine this book is a very cute local book where the subway is shown in a good light. However, it is very NYC centric and obviously a child not living in a city with public transportation is going to have a difficult time understanding it.
It's a cute local counting book with clever rhymes and colorful illustrations that anyone from The Big Apple should relate to and enjoy.
On a side note: I always found it interesting that there were so many books set in New York City. Is this because so many editors and agents live in NYC? Is it because readers are interested in the big city? Is it just my imagination? I get that the population of NYC is over 8.3 million, but in the grand scheme of things, that is only (roughly) 2.5% of the United States' population.