'A Where’s Waldo? for lovers of trains and travel, children will love searching for these beautiful foreign items while indulging in the common kid obsession over locomotives'.--BOOKLIST Find out about world cities and their underground systems in this fun search-and-find book! This is a playful search-and-find, inside/outside book of underground systems around the world. Alternating shortened pages introduce the subways of 12 different cities. On the first page we see the exterior of the train, and are presented with fascinating facts and figures about the transport system. On the following, shortened page, we find the inside of the train and the platform, bustling with activity. On this busy page, young readers are invited to spot key items that are unique to the city in question; a pretzel, an I • NY t-shirt and a Statue of Liberty headband on the New York Subway, for example. Perfect for train-obsessed children, but also for a wider audience, this book teaches young readers about transport and also about cultural signifiers of different cities around the world. Uijung Kim’s busy, colourful illustrations have a manga-like sensibility that feels joyously contemporary. The cities included are: London, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Moscow, Beijing, Mexico City, Paris, Madrid and Berlin.
BOOKLIST REVIEW: A Where’s Waldo? for lovers of trains and travel, this look-and-find by Brooklyn-based illustrator Kim takes readers into bustling subway systems in 12 of the world’s great metropolises, from New York City to Sydney, Australia. At each “stop,” we first see the subway station platform and train, with facts and figures about the transportation system. Turn the page, and it’s a scene from inside the train cars, jammed with people and filled with objects characteristic of the country and culture. Readers are asked to find the man playing a didgeridoo in Sydney. Where’s the lion dancer in Beijing? There’s an Eiffel Tower on the Métro in Paris, but it’s not where you’d expect. At the end of the book, there’s a helpful glossary explaining the more curious underground objects, like the valenki boots in Moscow, the Noh mask in Tokyo, and papel picado in Mexico City. Children will love searching for these beautiful foreign items while indulging in the common kid obsession over locomotives.
THE LITERACY TREE REVIEW: What’s so delightful is the illustrative style being as it is highly stylised, rather jolly-looking and often humourous: in the final city of Tokyo – where the network transports ‘3.1 billion passengers every year: the busiest subway in the world!’ train guards can be seen sweating with exertion attempting to squeeze passengers in whilst forcing doors shut! But did you know that whilst clearly very busy, Tokyo’s underground is also ranked as number 1 in the world for cleanliness and punctuality?
Perfect for any transport enthusiast, this would make a lovely addition to any key stage 1 classroom and would also be really useful for dipping in and out of to support children develop skills of retrieval!
BOOKTRUST REVIEW: In Uijung Kim’s fabulous and attractive book, young readers will learn about some much beloved subway systems in 10 international cities, as well as getting a feel for some of the cultural heritage of Seoul, Madrid, New York, London and many others. Every section features a colourful fold-out of each city’s subway train and there’s a seek and find feature which tasks children with spotting 10 local foods, famous people, sports items and other things associated with that city. For instance, in Moscow, we’re asked to find a balalaika, a Faberge egg, a matryoshka doll and St Basil’s Cathedral, among other classic Russian things.
Kim’s graphic, fun illustration brings subway systems to life for little ones at a time when many of them are obsessed with trains, trucks and cars – a perfect read at home and on the go!
LINDA'S BOOK BAG REVIEW: I found Underground was great fun for adults as well as children! The illustrations are bright, busy and hugely visual with a naive style children would love.
Underground appeals to children of many ages because the facts and figures are themselves interesting, and there’s enormous potential for research into geography and culture through the places included. Similarly, the glossary affords language development and international appreciation. I had no idea, for example, that carved Mandarin ducks are given as wedding presents in Korea.
I found it quite tricky to spot some of the hidden items to be found and I think this is an excellent feature. It teaches children patience and observation whilst being fun. There are opportunities for numeracy development too, perhaps counting the people in the train, or for younger children the number of dogs featured, or maybe people with glasses.
Underground is a book with a simple premise but considerable potential beyond its initial intention. I was impressed.
PICTURE BOOKS BLOGGER REVIEW: Filled with stats and facts Underground is a vibrant and informative read with plenty to spot along the way.
SCHOOL READING LIST REVIEW *RECOMMENDED TRANSPORT CHILDREN'S BOOK*: A tremendously fun look at 10 different subway systems around the world. An ideal book to share for children aged 4-9.
READ IT DADDY REVIEW: There's a fantastic and rapidly growing branch of non-fiction that caters specifically for younger kids who still prefer amazing visual presentation mixed in with their facts and figures. In fact in "Underground" by Uijung Kim, the text is purposely kept to a minimum as we take a journey across the globe to visit all the amazing places that have built public transport systems underneath our feet.
We loved this book, it cleverly uses brilliant and yet simple design to convey the excitement of riding the underground (weirdly aside from the Northern and Victoria Lines, it's one of the things I miss most about living in London).
A fab little book this, and another brilliant title in Cicada's increasingly essential early years non-fic range.