ID This Children's Book (NYC Nonfiction)

A friend’s first-grade son loves maps. I vaguely recall a book from 15-20 years ago, lavishly illustrated, about New York City’s various underground systems (Subways, steam tunnels, power cables, etc). It resembles, but is not a part of, the “How Things Work” series. I’d like to track down a copy for the boy. Does the description ring any bells?

Underground, by David Macaulay has that kind of stuff, but I don’t think it’s specifically about New York. It’s about 100 pages, with large line drawings on each page, to go with the text, explaining the underground systems: foundations, pipes, cables, etc.

The Macauley book also doesn’t resemble “How Things Work” because it’s all amazingly detailed pen-and-ink drawings. I think you should check this book out anyway, though! Also, his book City shows an entire Roman town being planned out. Great stuff.

My dad has this book, which might be along the lines of what you’re looking for.

Sounds like you might be thinking of The Works by Kate Ascher.

It’s one of our favourite coffee table books. Totally engrossing if you’re interested in figuring out exactly what makes a city tick (working on the assumption, of course, that NYC is the archetypal city)… dunno if a kid who’s into maps would necessarily like it, but it’s definitely the sort of thing that most boys would probably take a shine to.

I couldn’t see how a book by David Macauley wouldn’t resemble The Way Things Work…by David Macauley.

Underground comes closest, but I’m not sure any of these is the one I remember.