Mid-Week Review | Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña; Illustrated by Christian Robinson  ISBN: 9780399257742
Last Stop on Market Street
by Matt de la Peña; Illustrated by Christian Robinson
ISBN: 9780399257742

Synopsis: CJ and his grandma take a bus ride together, discovering the beauty and wonder of their vibrant neighborhood.

Review: There is a simple reason why Last Stop on Market Street is a multiple award winner (Caldecott Honor, Newbery Medel, and Coretta Scott King Award to name a few). It is an amazing book.

In his innocent selfishness, CJ asks his grandma the questions that we often ask ourselves. Why can’t we have the nicest things? And each time, grandma wisely shows that we already do.

Parents who are trying to instill a sense of wonder in the mundane could benefit from Grandma’s outlook and answers. Non-parents too.

Age Recommendation: 3-5

Quality Rating (1 is low, 5 is high): 5

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Mid-Week Review | Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward: How the Pretzel Was Born

Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward: How the Pretzel Was Born by Anna Egan Smucker; Illustrated by Amanda Hall
ISBN: 9780802854209

Synopsis: The Bishop is going to visit Brother Giovanni’s sanctuary, but the children won’t learn their prayers. He must find a way to help them, but all he knows how to do is bake. Will his gift be enough?

Review: “He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.’” Matthew 13:33

Brother Giovanni knows dough, but how can that help when the Bishop is scheduled to visit his sanctuary and the children won’t learn their prayers? In Anna Egan Smucker’s delightful look into the story of how the pretzel was born, we learn that when we put our gifts into God’s hands, he adds yeast to our dough and grows our efforts beyond what is humanly possible.

The crisp storytelling is enhanced by illustrator Amanda Hall’s pictures, drawn in the style of the period from which this tale originates. Readers will eat up Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward!

Age Recommendation: 4-8

Quality Rating (1 is low, 5 is high): 5