Book review: Our Subway Baby, by Peter Mercurio, illustrated by Leo Espinosa

Mercurio, Peter. Our Subway Baby. Illustrated by Leo Espinosa. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020. Unpaged. $17.99. ISBN 9780525427544. Ages 3-7. P7Q10

Peter Mercurio tells his son the story of how he was adopted.  Mercurio describes the day his partner, Daniel Stewart, finds an abandoned newborn boy in a New York Subway station and how, with the help of a sympathetic judge and the two gay men’s families, the three become a family.  Simple, realistic mixed media and Photoshop pictures of the men, the baby, and typical—though much cleaner– New York sights add to the story.

Verdict: This deceptively simple story presents the relationship of two gay men and the infant son they adopt.  The story shines with the love and worry of new parents everywhere and the men’s relationship comes through firmly rooted in their own families’ love and caring. Though both fathers present as white men, the racial diversity of New York City comes through in pictures of the baby, the police officer, the hospital staff,  subway riders, and the friends and family that bring baby supplies and furniture for the new family.  I recommend this story of gay parents and adopted son highly.  It should be in daycare, preschool, kindergarten, elementary and public library collections everywhere.

October 2020 review by Jane Cothron.