One of our favorite things to do as a family is take the train into the Big Apple. We like to get to the tracks early to watch the express trains whizz on by before hopping on a local to Grand Central Terminal. It's usual for us not to wander more than a block or two from the station before returning home. (Because that's a full day for young children. And for the parents who are managing the young children!)
In advance of our trip, we always revisit our treasured New York City books. Here are a few from our shelves:
+ Abuela by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Elisa Kleven. Abuela and her granddaughter start out on the city bus, but are quick to ditch regular transportation for flying. They experience the beauty of New York from a bird's eye perspective, taking in the Statue of Liberty, the family bodega, and Central Park. Spanish language is peppered throughout and is reinforced with responses in English for non-native speakers: "Mira," Abuela would say, pointing. And I'd look, as we soared over parks and streets, dogs and people. This book captures the magic of childhood and the feeling of holding a beloved grandparent's hand as you experience your world, together.
+ ABC NYC by Joanne Dugan. The author and photographer began this book by snapping photos of the material world of New York streets and sidewalks—all of the mundane and splendid things that she and her son would see on their walks in the city. Her toddler had a pile of C is for Cow picture books back at the apartment, which weren't the most relevant when Manhattan is your playground. Mmmm... B is for bagels...
+ New York City by Paula Hannigan and Illustrated by Shannon Chandler. A cleverly designed book with openings on each page that allow for peeks into other neighborhoods.
+ Little Blue Truck Leads the Way by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry. This heroic book was recommended to Sophie's grandma by the fine people at the Bankstreet Bookstore (now 2 for 2). Your kids will never look at street sweepers or emergency vehicles in the same way again. Our copy is just slightly worn...
Here's to a week filled with brimming grocery trucks, flashy police cars, and Metro North rides... S is for Subway!
Updated June 8, 2016. Photos by Rebecca Pitts.