Book Review: The Last Stop on Market Street
The Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published in January 2015, this book prompts you to consider the community values we're modeling for our children.
Themes: Humanity, Service, Family, Community
Story: Join CJ and his Nana as they take their weekly bus trip from church to the food bank. CJ is a typical young boy who wonders why he has to take the bus (in the rain) and volunteer at the food bank while his friends get to hop in cars with their families and head straight home to play. Nana reminds CJ of how important community is--bonding with everyone from the bus driver to a blind man and his spotted dog to two teenagers. By the end of the story CJ is grateful for the familiar faces along his journey.
Rhythm: A mixture of thoughtful introspection, fresh dialogue and poetic observation give the story an upbeat rhythm.
Illustrations: Christian Robinson's illustrations have a child-like quality with their bold colors and simple, yet sophisticated forms. His drawings convey a real urban environment with its mixture of grittiness and beauty. There is a refreshing portrayal of diversity, from the color of people's skin, to the various shapes of people's bodies to the display of tattoos and facial hair.
Nuts and Bolts: It takes me about six minutes to read this book to my daughter. There are 32 pages total with an average of two-three sentences per page. The targeted age range is 3-5 years old.