Little CJ hops onto a bus with his grandmother. He has many questions in his mind and his grandmother points out to the beauty that can be found in everyday people and everyday things.
Watch author Matt de la Peña and illustrator Christian Robinson talk about their 2016 Newbery Medal, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and a Caldecott Honor-winning book.
It’s Sunday and CJ is going to a special place with his grandmother from the church. His friend Colby waves from his car and CJ wonders why they don’t have a car. Grandmother assures him that a bus is great too, and there are interesting people to be met in it.
One of the people nanna (grandma) gives up her place for is a blind man.
How come that man can’t see?
“Boy, what do you know about seeing?” Nana told him.
Some people watch the world with their ears.
“Thats a fact. Their noses too”, the man said sniffing at the air.
“Thats a mighty fine perfume you are weraing today ma’am.”
CJ enjoys the music the guitarist on the bus plays, and his mind floats happily. Eventually, Nanna and CJ reach the last stop on market street and make their way through a ghetto to a soup kitchen, where grandmother and grandchild start serving soup to the homeless.
The artwork is brilliant, without doubt capturing the sights of a city impeccably. The storyline’s focus is on observing and appreciative of the experiences we have. CJ often wonders of the things he doesn’t have but Nanna gives him an alternative perspective in every case. When CJ wishes for an iPod Nanna says he can enjoy live music, thanks to the guitarist who is traveling on the bus. Nanna is not one for preaching, but she teaches by doing.
Last Stop on Market Street is a wonderful book that teaches children about enjoying the now, relishing the every day and giving thanks.