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Subway by Christoph Niemann
PreSchool-Grade 1: This colorful, vivacious, child-centered title began with a post on Niemann's blog, Abstract City, in which he describes a day of riding the subway with his two sons just for fun. The artist uses thick gouache paint to render his characters as standard pictograms, akin to those on city signs, with curved edges for hands and feet, and the technique creates a chalky texture that looks like correction fluid. Visual communication lords over the text. Niemann uses many tropes for expression: the youngsters, excited to spend the rainy day on the subway, hi-five. The agony of the adventure coming to an end is punctuated with tears bursting from one son and father dragging the other one, boneless. The spreads of the dedication page, the A train and all its 44 stops, and the wild crisscrossing array of colored lines under Times Square mirroring the famed city lights on the surface, capture the glory of this venerable transportation system. The rhyming text and references to subway lore add chuckles for older readers, but the meter does create an occasional stumble. A sure hit with most youngsters, especially those who are transfixed by trains