Underground: Subway Systems Around the World

by | Jun 8, 2023 | Book Review, Non-Fiction, Picture Book

Underground (cover)

Book Details

Underground: Subway Systems Around the World
Uijung Kim. London: Cicada, hb. 978 1 9087 1469 5, 2019, £12.99, 44pp.
Non-fiction, picture book, 4-7 years

Underground takes readers through the transport systems of nine global cities. Readers can step into the worlds of Beijing, London, Mexico City, Moscow, Paris, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, and New York.

For each city, readers see the train exterior and fascinating facts about the city’s transport system. These facts come with colourful letters, numbers, and icons.

Not only does Underground entertain with fun facts, but it also includes an interactive component. Readers can turn the page and look through the sea of people on the train for specific items, animals or people that illuminate the city’s culture. The glossary further stresses this book’s educational focus and teaches children everything from a dobok (Korean martial arts uniform) to matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls).

Each city’s inhabitants, who show the city’s diversity, flood the page on the platform and train. These people are not presented as a monolith — they are characters with their own personalities. Writer and illustrator Uijung Kim gives them varied facial expressions and body language, incorporating humour that complements Underground’s playfulness.

Underground is an enjoyable, interactive way to teach children about other cultures and cities around the world. It’s enjoyable for all children, even if they are not particularly fond of trains.


Review by Mariya Khan