Memories from my childhood, a beautiful find
I have always thought that books transport us to imaginable places, but I would never think that a children’s book could touch my soul so much. That is was happened with the book I chose, Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. I selected this picture book because it transports me to my beloved Island and the moments of my childhood. Not only does it make me think of my childhood, but it also makes me analyze that thanks to all the experiences that I had, I appreciate the beauty of life.
This book won the Newbery Medal in 2016, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor and a Caldecott Honor. The book was published in hardcover, it has 32 pages and is about 8” x 10” in size. The endpapers in this book are yellow and white and they have many images that represent the things or people that are found in the lecture. You could say that it gives us a clue of what we will see in the reading and the tone it will have. For example, the jar with butterflies, the dog, the trees and even the bus are present in the endpapers. To understand this book, it is vital that we also observe what is happening in all the illustrations. We can understand what happens with the text-only but looking at the illustrations we can feel like we were living all the experiences that CJ is living. The illustrations are very colorful and detailed, but very simples at the same time. At some point, you can think that a very artistic child has drawn them using crayons, but Christian Robinson used acrylic and collages. Concerning the text, a simple and black letter is used, but very well placed near where they want us to observe.
I liked the book completely, but the most that has caught my attention has been the history and teaching that bring us. The child is upset because he has to take the bus and they don’t have a car to move everywhere but as the synopsis of the book mentions: “it’s Nana who opens young CJ’s eyes and shows him the real beauty in the world around them-the spirit of the bustling city, the music in everyday life, and the magic of their often overlooked neighbors”. The grandmother of the child, at an early age, teaches this child that everything has its beauty and that we only must observe closely to find it. As she mentions: “sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful”.
Title: Last Stop on Market Street
Author: Matt de la Peña
Illustrator: Christian Robinson
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Year of publication: 2015
About the author.
Matt de la Peña is an American writer of children’s books and novels for young adults. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his family and teaches creative writing.
About the illustrator.
Christian Robinson was born on August 2, 1986. He is an illustrator of children’s books who has worked with The Sesame Street and Pixar Animation Studios.