Book Review of Last Stop on Market Street
The Children’s Book Review
What to Expect: Diversity, Community, Perspective, Gratitude, Generational Bonds, and Social Awareness
Matt de la Peña’s acclaimed picture book, Last Stop on Market Street, in collaboration with illustrator Christian Robinson, is a heartfelt narrative that resonates with readers of all ages. This captivating work has garnered widespread recognition and is adorned with award stickers that affirm its success and impact.
As the first Hispanic writer to win the prestigious Newbery Award, de la Peña brings depth and authenticity to the story of CJ and his grandmother’s bus ride through the bustling city streets. Through their journey, readers are gently reminded of the beauty found amidst the everyday challenges and diversity of urban life. CJ’s grandmother’s wise words, “Sometimes, when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful,” serve as a poignant reminder to cherish life’s simple pleasures and appreciate the richness of our surroundings.
Complementing de la Peña’s evocative prose are Christian Robinson’s vibrant and enchanting illustrations, which breathe life into CJ’s urban adventure. Robinson’s use of color and detail not only captures the essence of the cityscape but also imbues each page with a sense of wonder and discovery. Robinson’s artwork beautifully enhances the narrative, from the bustling streets to the diverse characters they encounter, inviting readers to immerse themselves fully in CJ’s world.
Beyond its role as a children’s book, Last Stop on Market Street serves as an educational tool, imparting valuable lessons on empathy, gratitude, and the power of perspective. Through CJ’s journey, readers learn to see the world through a different lens, finding joy and beauty in unexpected places. Whether it’s the laughter of fellow passengers, the music of street performers, or the warmth of a shared moment with a friend, de la Peña and Robinson remind us that life’s true treasures are often found in the simplest moments.
Last Stop on Market Street is a timeless masterpiece transcending age and genre, creating an immersive reading experience that will stay with readers long after turning the final page. This book is not just a journey through the city; it’s a journey of the heart—a celebration of diversity, resilience, and the beauty of the human spirit. Allow yourself to be transported by its magic.
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About the Author
Matt de la Peña is the Newbery Medal–winning author of Last Stop on Market Street. He is also the author of the award-winning picture books Carmela Full of Wishes, Love, and A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis and seven critically acclaimed young adult novels. Matt teaches creative writing and visits schools and colleges throughout the country.
You can visit Matt at mattdelapena.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @mattdelapena.
About the Illustrator
Christian Robinson received a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for his art in Last Stop on Market Street. He is the author and illustrator of the picture books Another and You Matter, and he has illustrated many more, including Carmela Full of Wishes, the Gaston and Friends series, School’s First Day of School, and The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade.
You can visit Christian at theartoffun.com or follow him on Twitter @theartoffunnews and Instagram @theartoffun.
What to Read Next If You Love Last Stop on Market Place
- Whistle for Willie, by Ezra Jack Keats
- Nana in the City, by Lauren Castillo
- Sidewalk Flowers, by JonArno Lawson
- Trombone Shorty, by Troy Andrews
- Patchwork, by Matt de la Peña and Corinna Luyken