|Matt de la Pena at BookFest @ Bank Street 2014|
Photo: Cheryl Simon
In Last Stop on Market Street, Matt de la Peña transforms the differences a child perceives as negatives and turns them into positives -- with a little help from his grandmother.
Where CJ sees the lack of a car, his Nana sees the riches of the bus ride. While he desires an iPod, his Nana enjoys the guitar playing of a fellow passenger. At last Nana's attitude of gratitude washes over her grandson. De la Peña portrays a woman who leads by example. She allows CJ his feelings while also showing him an alternate perspective.
Christian Robinson's cityscape with its bright, solid colors and patterns will capture the interest of his audience. Even on this rainy Sunday morning on Market Street, the surroundings look cheery, as if Nana herself had painted the scenery. She seems to know and greet everyone she meets.
When readers discover the duo's destination (a homeless shelter where Nana volunteers), they--like Nana--will feel the promise of a community coming together and may even be inspired to help. This uplifting picture book is a guaranteed attitude adjustment.