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Children's Nonfiction City & Town Life

Way Downtown, The

Adventures in Public Transit

by (author) Inna Gertsberg

illustrated by Mike Lowery

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2017
City & Town Life, Travel, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3
  • Reading age: 4 to 8


In this one-of-a-kind book, the complex and fascinating world of urban public transit is explored using five different characters' journeys through the imaginary city of Zoom. From the Zanies, a family of street performers; to Agent Theodore Rybka, a spy on a very secret mission; to Robbie, a seven-year-old boy visiting the city for the first time, the characters are quirky and full of personality. On this particular morning, they are all headed downtown from different locations, but they all end up in the same place at the same time. Keen readers will be able to spot where their paths cross along the way. All of the journeys from start to finish are described visually first and then are told as stories in panels, embellished with definitions, labels and explanations of how things work on subways, buses, light rail trains and ferry boats.

This fun and engaging book from Inna Gertsberg offers an innovative approach to a popular subject, covering a city's entire public transportation system rather than just one mode of transit. It's loaded with facts presented with fun, lively illustrations by Mike Lowery that are busy, humorous and filled with details. Also included are a city map, a transit map and a glossary. This is a book that will find numerous uses in the classroom, including social studies lessons on transportation, technology, the environment, land use, urban communities and map reading.

About the authors

Inna Gertsberg studied fine arts and graphic design, and has worked as an advertising art director and writer. Her work has been featured in numerous publications. The Way Downtown is her first children's book. Inna lives in Toronto, Canada.

Inna Gertsberg's profile page



MIKE LOWERY a illustré plusieurs livres pour enfants, y compris The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten et A Squiggly Story. Il habite à Decatur, en Géorgie.


Mike Lowery is a New York Times bestselling illustrator who has worked on dozens of award-winning books for kids, including The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, Mac B, Kid Spy by Mac Barnett, How to Be a T.Rex, and many others. He's also written several books, including the Doodle Adventures series of graphic novels for kids and Random Illustrated Facts: A Collection of Curious, Weird, and Totally Not Boring Things to Know, which collects his drawings of super-weird and totally true facts. Visit him online at

Mike Lowery's profile page


  • Winner, Bank Street College, Best Children's Books of the Year

Editorial Reviews

Kids interested in cities and transport as well as fans of Richard Scarry-like busyness will be busy with this book for many readings.

Kirkus Reviews

An excellent source for social studies units dealing with urban transportation ...

School Library Journal

... energetic ...

Publishers Weekly

Kids Can has published yet another jaunty children's book that is part information and part entertainment.

CM Magazine

Young city dwellers will be entertained and amused ...

Resource Links

... this should be a hit with the early elementary crowd, whether as curriculum support or just pure, active entertainment.

Booklist, starred review

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