Illustrator: Christian Robinson
a Sunday in the inner city
A grandmother and grandson come out of church and board the city bus this Sunday afternoon, their regular time together. Along the way, CJ asks why questions about things he wishes he could own and about things he wishes were different in his neighborhood. He also sees things as ugly. His wise Nana sees beauty all around her and sees provisions already at hand. As Nana teaches CJ, she hopes he is learning a different and better way to see the world in which they live.
As the cover reveals, the art is bright and bold with simple shapes. It is easy to look upon. Children can understand this story through the pictures alone if they are not yet reading words.
I love this book because it is so personal to the illustrator and the author in their individual ways. It is real. It brings inequality to the forefront yet sets it to the background in order to show that which lasts beyond that which is fleeting. The beauty that Nana sees in the same neighborhood where CJ sees ugliness reminds me that all truly is in the eyes of the beholder. I also love this book because both the author and the illustrator are humble young men as can be seen through their own words:
Christian Robinson, the illustrator said, “Having ‘Last Stop on Market Street’ recognized by the Coretta Scott King, Caldecott and Newbery committees is truly unimaginable. The pictures in this book were inspired by memories of riding the bus with my grandmother, who raised my brother and me, and taught me to count my blessings. Today I feel deeply blessed and humbled to be a part of a book that is inclusive and honors the experience of children who share a similar story. Celebrating this moment with my Nana is the greatest gift.”
Matt de la Peña’s official statement to the AP: “I am humbled beyond words that “Last Stop on Market Street” has been awarded the 2016 Newbery Medal, placing it alongside so many seminal works which have long inspired my path as an author. It’s important to me that Last Stop’s illustrator, Christian Robinson, share in this honor as this is a picture book, and from the very beginning I’ve felt that his wonderful illustrations make this book what it is. I also want to acknowledge what a privilege it is to be the first Latino male author to receive the Newbery Medal. I hope all the brilliant Hispanic writers of the past and present view this as a recognition or our diverse community and that it inspires young Hispanics coming up to read their way through the world and consider a path in the arts.”
Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Matt de la Peña ~ This young author is an award-winning writer no matter what age-level book he authors. He is the first Hispanic male author to win the Newbery Medal.
Matt de la Peña received his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship and his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University (my alma mater, by the way!). Mr. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country. You can find him @ Matt de la Peña, on Twitter @mattdelapena
Christian Robinson is an illustrator of picture books. In 2008, he earned a BFA in Character Animation at the California Institute of the Arts. He has worked at both Pixar Studios and Sesame Street Workshop. While living in San Francisco, Christian seems to enjoy keeping a balance….he calls it “blurring the line between work and play.” He used acrylic paints, collage, and a bit of digital manipulation. Mr. Robinson can be found @ The Art of Fun
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (January 8, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399257748
- ISBN-13: 978-0399257742
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.3 x 10.9 inches