I Am the Subway


Translated by Deborah Smith

3-9 years

Seoul Subway




Kim Hyo-eun


I Am the Subway is one of the most beautiful books, and it’s narrated all by the actual subway! I love the idea of the subway recognizing passengers, and hearing bits about their lives. Color plays a huge part within the story, beginning with gray and vague faces before we learn more about the characters’ lives.

The story arc portrays a peek into many lives, many subway stations, and the much-repeated “ba-dum ba-dum” sound that anyone who has ridden the subway will be familiar with. It’s a really unique setup for a story, and getting these little snippets about the complexities is a lovely reminder that everyone we see in passing has a rich backstory. One that I loved in particular was an older woman who grew up by the seaside and brings in fresh seafood to cook for her family that lives in the city. Such a sweet and tender act of service for her loved ones, and the illustrations that accompany this particular story is gorgeous.

When I lived in and commuted to Boston, the T was a staple in my life. I really kind of liked seeing the same people on the commuter trains. Besides a few awkward interactions with former and current students’ parents, I looked forward to the time where I could read or finish my coffee on the train.

This book was kindly sent by Scribble Kids, but all opinions are my own!

Kim Hyo-eun

Kim Hyo-eun studied textile design at college and illustration at the Ibpil Future Illustration Research Institute. Books written and illustrated by Kim Hyo-eun include I Am the Subway. Picture books with illustrations created by Kim include A Baby on a TrainA Starry Flower WallThe Place We Walk Becomes the Road, and Minji and a Squirrel.

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