Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson, is what I shall call a Caldebery book. It straddles the Caldecott and Newbery categories. Though awarded the 2016 Newbery award for the story, the text without the artwork would be incomplete. So it is not surprising that it was also a Caldecott Honor book for Christian Robinson’s illustrations.
This very short story features CJ and his grandmother on their weekly Sunday after church outing. His grandmother, Nana, is a community treasure – a strong, kind, and wise woman who is committed to encouraging and restoring her community.
He wondered how his nana always found beautiful where he never even thought to look.
The plot follows CJ and his nana as they ride the city bus to their final destination. They encounter other community treasures along the way – interesting people with stories and skills to be discovered. CJ’s “how comes,” “why do we have tos,” and “I wish I hads” along the way are greeted with sage words that are shaping CJ’s character.
Whether you live with much or with little, you will be better for having read this little gem of a story. And you might just be inspired to do something different with your Sunday afternoons.
Copyright © Gienah Beaty, bookshelfbriefs.wordpress.com, 2016. All rights reserved. (Public Domain image by Paul Brennan courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net)