Best Subway Books for Kids 2021

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Like many kids who grow up in the city, my toddler son, Augie, is simply obsessed with the subway (and anything vehicle-related). He loves nothing more than swiping the MetroCard, going through the turnstiles, and riding the train for as long as possible. Covid makes it tricky to constantly ride the rails, so when he can not do that, he’s content calling out train stations on walks and drives, playing with his subway toy cars, and reading books about the subway. We only own three Metro-themed books, but they are some of his favorites to read at night before bed, and I am always on the lookout for more volumes to add to his library. Below, the three books in our bedtime rotation plus a few more I have saved in my shopping cart, all of which are sure to delight the young subway-obsessive in your life. Oh, and for a non-book recommendation, Sarah Meyer, the MTA’s chief customer officer and a mom of two, suggests picking up “an actual NYC subway map,” which, as she notes, is free. “I have spent countless hours with my oldest, tracing routes, showing her where people live, where we have been, and where she wants to go,” Meyer says.

'Subway,' written by Anastasia Suen and illustrated by Karen Katz

This was Augie’s first book about the subway, and it’s the perfect introduction to the subterranean system. With vibrant illustrations and a diverse cast of characters in equally snazzy outfits, it follows a mother and a young daughter on a rollicking train ride uptown, complete with a transfer. Yellow cabs, food carts, the iconic red subway lamps and green station markers, and, of course, the trains, all of which imply we’re in New York City without explicitly stating so, but there’s plenty that will be familiar to your little city-slicker. The language is simple, rhythmic, and repetitive, making it a book that you’ll return to often. There’s even a tiny dog ​​in a tiny purse that’s fun to track through the story.

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