As a parent, Last Stop on Market Street is a different kind of lesson - one about grace, patience and joy.
Written by Matt de la Pena
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on January 08, 2015
View on Bookshop
If you've ever been a parent, or a teacher, or a coach, or just a regular old human being in contact with other regular old human beings, you know that gratitude is one of the hardest virtues to learn, and maybe harder still to teach. In fact, some people never are able to wrap their minds around the concept fully. That's why Last Stop on Market Street is such a warm and gooey read for me and The Littles at storytime.
CJ is a kid mired with questions when his Nana takes him on their weekly bus trip in the rain. "Why do we have to go here after church?", "Why don't we have a car to get there?", even stopping to lament to his Nana how much he wishes he "had one of those" when he sees two older boys step onto the bus sharing a pair of headphones plugged into one of their phones.
When Nana finally convinces CJ that the ease and wonder he's seeking so desperately is literally surrounding him if he would just tune into the beauty (brought brilliantly to life by Christian Robinson's art) of what he already has, we watch him get a little closer to finding some bit of gratitude.
As a parent, Last Stop on Market Street is a different kind of lesson - one about grace, patience and joy. Nana effortlessly, as Matt de la Peña so eloquently writes, "always sees beautiful where [CJ] never even thought to look". She makes the hard task of teaching young CJ gratitude feel joyful as she doles out wisdom like a veteran dealer with a lucky deck of cards, calmly, patiently and humorously, all the while laughing her deep laugh and picking up and setting down her knitting in between. Nana is #momgoals for us all.
Last Stop on Market Street is a fun read for a rainy morning or any other time we want to remind ourselves to count our blessings... and to thank our Nanas.
Brooke "Bee" Whitaker-Royster is an experienced international education consultant fluently moving through the fine and performing arts, multimedia and tech sectors. Her work focuses on inspiring and creating sustainable business practices in the formation of innovative, diverse and groundbreaking programming.
Following various successes in her time at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts as Lincoln Center Education’s Assistant Director, Global Partnerships, Bee is now managing life as a dedicated stay-at-home mom of two girls, Hannah and Naomi, while tackling select professional and personal projects. Her newest endeavor, Mother Bee Reads, is a YouTube channel dedicated to sharing read alouds that highlight BIPOC characters and storytellers.