Cover image for Under New York
Under New York
High, Linda Oatman.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 47523.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



What goes on beneath the New York City streets? A lot more than you'd imagine! Above there are skyscrapers and sunshine, schools and families, pigeons and pets. Below there are tunnels, restaurants, jazz clubs, subways - and maybe, once, an alligator!

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Pipes and power lines; trains and tunnels; music and jazz clubs; even crocodiles and elephants--the world beneath New York City's streets comes alive in this poetic, richly illustrated picture book. High, author of Barn Savers (Booklist's 1999 Top of the List Youth Picture Book), introduces her subterranean setting in brief phrases that pulse with energy: "Below offices and theaters and stores, there are miles of pipes and wires, yellow and orange, pink and red and black, carrying light and heat to the city above." Rayevsky's captivating, split-level illustrations show above and below ground in humorous, detailed collages that combine photos with brushy, elegant ink sketches reminiscent of Chris Raschka's work. Pair this with other lyrical urban views, such as Christopher Myers' Black Cat (1999) and Robert Burleigh's Messenger, Messenger [BKL My 15 00]. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

High (A Christmas Star) and Rayevsky (Squash It! A True and Ridiculous Tale) conduct an irresistibly quirky, good-natured tour of the subterranean goings-on in Gotham. Rayevsky sets the tone with his witty mixed-media illustrations, which marry urban grays and browns with zippy, funky draftsmanship in a truly original style. His every figure is full of life; even the animals have clear personalities. He divides each spread horizontally, showing the bustling city above- and below-ground. The underground scenarios include subway stations, "miles of pipes and wires," the construction site of a water tunnel, a jazz club and a shopping mall. (New Yorkers may notice that the scenes don't always match up, however: a street scene on Madison and 49th is paired with a subway station further west and downtown). High's breezy narrative does not target specific locations, yet does include marvelous details, such as a 1935 report in the New York Times of an alligator in the city sewers and the revelation that, when the circus comes to town, elephants walk through the Lincoln Tunnel (under the Hudson River). A whimsical way to savor a bite of the Big Apple. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Subway musicians, sidewalk break dancing, mounted police officers, hot dog vendors, yellow taxicabs, and pigeons are all celebrated in this stylized overview of life in the Big Apple. Double-page spreads feature cleverly split illustrations that depict life both above and below the ground. For example, Rockefeller Center's skating rink provides a roof for the shops below, and a street busy with cars and trucks sits atop an equally active subway platform. Each illustration is accompanied by five lines of rhythmic text that begin with the words "Under New York," and go on to describe that particular scene. Tidbits of history and curious facts of present-day life add to the adventure. Readers learn that in 1935, the New York Times reported the presence of an alligator underground, and that the Lincoln Tunnel serves as an entryway for elephants headed to perform at Madison Square Garden. While the illustrations are most often rendered in dark shades of grays, greens, and browns with heavy black outlines, they are never dismal. Rather, they capture the city's energy with remarkable ease. Notes from both the author and illustrator reflect infectious enthusiasm for a work worth noting.-Alicia Eames, New York City Public Schools (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.