Monday, April 4, 2016

April's Book of the Month--Last Stop on Market Street

April’s Book of the Month is the Newbery award-winning picture book, LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, with words by Matt de la Peña and pictures by Christian Robinson. It’s almost unheard of for a picture book text to be awarded a Newbery or even an honor, with the award typically going to the novel that the ALA panel judges to be the most distinguished piece of writing for children in any given year. So what makes this picture book so special and worthy of this honor?

LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET is the story of CJ and his nana taking a bus ride through the city, on their way to serving a meal at their soup kitchen. CJ peppers his nana with questions—why do they wait for the bus when it's raining? why don’t they have a car? why do they always have to go here? and Nana answers by showing him the richness of life exactly as they are living it. The book portrays a diverse, urban, population.

The prose is lovely, with well-placed repetition and descriptive language. Although they are not considered for the Newbery, the illustrations help to elevate this book to the very highest level of art and craftsmanship.

Or so I think! What about you? Do you think that a picture book winning the Newbery might bring older kids, as well as new readers, to the genre?


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