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Last Stop on Market Street
by Matt De La Pena and Christian Robinson


Overview - Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book
A "New York Times Book Review" Notable Children's Book of 2015
A "Wall Street Journal" Best Children's Book of 2015
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town.
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More About Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena; Christian Robinson
 
 
 
Overview
Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book
A "New York Times Book Review" Notable Children's Book of 2015
A "Wall Street Journal" Best Children's Book of 2015
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty and fun in their routine and the world around them.
This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena s vibrant text and Christian Robinson s radiant illustrations."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399257742
  • ISBN-10: 0399257748
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: January 2015
  • Page Count: 32
  • Reading Level: Ages 3-5


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Values & Virtues
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Homelessness & Poverty
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Family - Multigenerational

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-10-27
  • Reviewer: Staff

Like still waters, de la Peña (A Nation’s Hope) and Robinson’s (Gaston) story runs deep. It finds beauty in unexpected places, explores the difference between what’s fleeting and what lasts, acknowledges inequality, and testifies to the love shared by an African-American boy and his grandmother. On Sunday, CJ and Nana don’t go home after church like everybody else. Instead, they wait for the Market Street bus. “How come we don’t got a car?” CJ complains. Like many children his age, CJ is caught up in noticing what other people have and don’t have; de la Peña handles these conversations with grace. “Boy, what do we need a car for?” she responds. “We got a bus that breathes fire, and old Mr. Dennis, who always has a trick for you.” (The driver obliges by pulling a coin out of CJ’s ear.) When CJ wishes for a fancy mobile music device like the one that two boys at the back of the bus share, Nana points out a passenger with a guitar. “You got the real live thing sitting across from you.” The man begins to play, and CJ closes his eyes. “He was lost in the sound and the sound gave him the feeling of magic.” When the song’s over, the whole bus applauds, “even the boys in the back.” Nana, readers begin to sense, brings people together wherever she goes. Robinson’s paintings contribute to the story’s embrace of simplicity. His folk-style figures come in a rainbow of shapes and sizes, his urban landscape accented with flying pigeons and the tracery of security gates and fire escapes. At last, CJ and Nana reach their destination—the neighborhood soup kitchen. Nana’s ability to find “beautiful where he never even thought to look” begins to work on CJ as the two spot people they’ve come to know. “I’m glad we came,” he tells her. Earlier, Nana says that life in the deteriorated neighborhood makes people “a better witness for what’s beautiful.” This story has the same effect. Ages 3–5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Beauty in a bustling world

It’s not often that you see class addressed in picture books in ways that are subtle and seamless, but Last Stop on Market Street, the affectionate story of a young boy and his grandmother, does just that.

Last Stop on Market Street spread 1

CJ walks with his nana under an umbrella after leaving church. “The outside smelled like freedom” to the boy, who must have felt squirmy in the pews. They head for a bus stop, and CJ wonders why they always have to catch the bus, especially when he sees his friend zip by in a car with his dad. “Nana, how come we don’t got a car?” he asks. On the bus, he covets an older boy’s digital music player and earbuds. He also wonders why he and his nana always have to go where they’re going after church, a destination revealed at the book’s close.

Last Stop on Market Street spread 2

His grandmother has a glass-half-full response for every query: Why, the bus breathes fire, and the bus driver always has a trick for CJ. There’s a man with a guitar right across from them on the bus, so who needs tiny music devices when you have “the real live thing” right there? The bus trip reveals a community of intriguing characters, and their destination promises the most colorful personalities. CJ and Nana even talk to a blind man, who tells CJ he can see the world with his ears and nose and shows CJ how to “feel the magic of music” by closing his eyes and letting go. When CJ and his nana step off the bus, readers discover that they’re heading to a soup kitchen. As they walk from the bus stop to the building, CJ wonders how Nana always witnesses beauty in surprising places.

Last Stop on Market Street spread 3

With his crisp, uncluttered illustrations, Christian Robinson—the perfect illustrator for this story—captures the exuberance and wonder inherent in Matt de la Peña’s vivid, resonant text, giving abundant individuality to each community member we see. This ode to gratitude is 2015’s first must-read picture book.

 

Julie Danielson features authors and illustrators at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a children’s literature blog.

Illustrations © 2015 by Christian Robinson. Reprinted with permission of Penguin.

This article was originally published in the January 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews