Friday, April 1, 2016

Last Stop on Market Street gets 4.5 Stars {Newbery Medal Winner, Caldecott Honor}

Last Stop of Market Street by Matt de La Pena won quite the book awards this year.  This picture book, which toddlers up to 3rd grade can enjoy, won a Caldecott Honor (aka runner up for best pictures) and the Newbery Medal (aka best written story for kids).  Usually chapter books win the Newbery, but not this year.  This book is great; It earned 4.5 stars in my book review, service, helping others, lesson. Alohamora Open a Book www.alohamoraopenabook.bloggspot.com

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson.was completed by quite the award winning team, and this book is going to be sporting many impressive award stickers.  

Last Stop on Market Street won the Newbery Medal this year, the best children's book, AND it also won a Caldecott Honor for the best illustrations.  This kidlit picture book won other awards including the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and to be honest I think it deserves all of these awards.  

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 StarsLast Stop on Market Street is a great story with beautiful paper collage pictures.  I loved the message it taught, and there were phrases and statements I loved,  Like Nana saying, "Sometimes when you're surrounded by dirt, CJ, you're a better witness for what's beautiful."  

I'm not sure I can say much negative about this book.  I enjoyed it, and enjoyed the need to infer; older readers and teachers will appreciate the higher reading comprehension needed, but the younger teachers will enjoy how simple and universal this story is.  The main reason Last Stop on Market Street did not get a perfect 5 star rating is b/c it just didn't wow me.  It's a great read and story, but I don't feel a strong need or desire to purchase this book for my personal library.  However, schools and public libraries alike need this book.    

I have enjoyed that Last Stop on Market Street has brought about great conversations with my toddler and preschooler about what a Soup Kitchen is and how it helps people as well as the reason why they think we should be riding buses far more often.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and my kids have as well. I think this book makes a great read aloud for parents, teachers, and librarians alike.  Toddlers, preschoolers, and up to 2nd grade would be the ideal audience for this book, but elementary school aged kids in general could benefit by the art, excellent writing, and the message.  

Amazon had the following book review from School Library Journal: 

"After church on Sundays, CJ and his nana wait for the bus. It's a familiar routine, but this week CJ is feeling dissatisfied. As they travel to their destination, the boy asks a series of questions: "How come we gotta wait for the bus in all this wet?" "Nana, how come we don't got a car?" "How come we always gotta go here after church?" CJ is envious of kids with cars, iPods, and more freedom than he has. With each question, Nana points out something for CJ to appreciate about his life: "Boy, what do we need a car for? We got a bus that breathes fire." These gentle admonishments are phrased as questions or observations rather than direct answers so that CJ is able to take ownership of his feelings. After they exit the bus, CJ wonders why this part of town is so run-down, prompting Nana to reply, "Sometimes when you're surrounded by dirt, CJ, you're a better witness for what's beautiful." The urban setting is truly reflective, showing people with different skin colors, body types, abilities, ages, and classes in a natural and authentic manner. Robinson's flat, blocky illustrations are simple and well composed, seemingly spare but peppered with tiny, interesting details. Ultimately, their destination is a soup kitchen, and CJ is glad to be there. This is an excellent book that highlights less popular topics such as urban life, volunteerism, and thankfulness, with people of color as the main characters. A lovely title."  


Happy Newbery Medal and Caldecott Honor book reading


For those children book trivia fans, A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard and illustrated by Alice Provensen is the only other book I know to have won the Newbery Medal and a Caldecott Honor.

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