I chose two stories for this week’s review. I chose Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De la Pena and Firebird by Misty Copeland. Last Stop on Market Street won 2016’s Newbery Medal while Firebird won Coretta Scott King’s 2015 Illustrator Award.
I chose to review Last Stop on Market Street. I’ve seen this story before but never have I read it until today. Last Stop on Market Street won more than just the Newbery Award. This story has also won the 2016 Caldecott Honor, 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor and New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2015.
In a stunning tale of perspective, a young boy, CJ, is taught by his grandmother how to see the beauty in everything around him. CJ’s desire to understand why people and situations “are the way they are” allows for the reader to be brought along on a back and forth discussion between CJ and his grandmother. This story is written with an inner city slang which brings CJ’s character to life. CJ asks his grandmother questions such as “Nana, how come we don’t got no car?” and “How come we got to wait for the bus in all this wet?” This story is filled page after page with bright colors and full pages of illustrations. The reader is brought into a realistic world of optimism by the grandmother’s captivating way of turning all negative situations into positive ones. If it’s one thing this story teaches its readers it is how to see the world as beautiful no matter what you may or may not have. De la Pena does a great job at bringing the reader through the city, exploring people from all walks of life as well as teaching a valuable lesson in appreciation for what you have and that there is beauty amongst diversity.
De la Pena, Matt. Last Stop On Market Street. Illustrated by Christian Robinson. G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Radndom House. 2015. 32 pages. Tr. $16.99, 9780399257742
Firebird. By Misty Copeland. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. Penguin Random House. 2014. 40 pages. Tr. $17.99