MaiStoryBook Library: Last Stop on Market Street + Finding Beautiful Craft

Introducing this diverse, intergenerational tale featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson

Book Synopsis and Review

Welcome to the hustling, bustling life of the city. CJ and his grandma have just finished church, and are on their way to the bus stop for their weekly routine. As rain begins to patter down, speckling CJ’s shirt with miniature dew drops, CJ grumpily inquires about their lack of a car, as well as about the sodden nature of the rainy day. As his glum line of questioning continues, each inquiry is met by an encouraging and revealing answer from his grandma. As the pair boards the bus, greeting their bus driver friend and the crowd of characters on the bus, CJ’s grandma continues to help CJ experience the beauty around him ~ and not just by seeing with his eyes, but by using his ears, nose, touch, and taste to also *see* the world around him. As their final destination is revealed at the end of the story, readers are shown the kindness and value of helping others who have even less than you do. Furthermore, the beautifully illustrated urban setting, along with the broad cast of characters, truly reveals the beauty and diversity of life.

This month, our read alouds have focused on the theme of finding the magic and splendor in everything and everyone around you, including *yourself,* and this story continues to exemplify this theme. Read and listen along with MaiStoryBook to join a grandma and her grandchild as she helps him see the beauty in their weekly routine and in the world around them. “Last Stop on Market Street” won the 2016 Newberry Medal, awarded to the author of the best contribution to children’s literature for that year, so you are in for a treat! Hop aboard this busy bus ride through the bustling city, to find the magic at the “Last Stop on Market Street.”

Vocabulary List

  • Freckled (p. 2) spotted
  • Patter (p. 5) make a light tapping sound
  • Lurched (p. 11) an unsteady, bumpy movement
  • Glanced (p. 19) look quickly
  • Arcing (p. 23) stretching across in a curved shape

Themes/Main ideas

  1. You can experience the world through your sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Use all of your senses to find the magic in your surroundings.
  2. The journey is just as important as the destination. Focus and truly *be* in the moment to experience life to its fullest.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Last Stop on Market Street” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

Subscribe: MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel for additional read aloud videos!

Follow: MaiStoryBook on Vimeo for additional read aloud videos!

*Finding Beautiful* Craft

One of my new year resolutions this year is to take the time to *pause*~ to take a step back from the busy scheduling and hectic days~ and find happiness in the moment ~ to truly experience the present ~  to stop planning ahead or thinking about the next assignment and long list of to-do’s crowding my planner ~ and to truly *be* with the family and friends around me, to give 100% of me to what I’m doing and who I’m with. I’m not much one for meditating, but I do want to practice using *all* of my senses to experience the world~ to not just glaze over the scenery with my eyes, but to open my ears and actively listen, to breathe in the scents around me, or to focus on taste and slowly savor each bite of a favorite or brand new dish. It must be true that when you open your mind, and your heart, and take the time to fully, actively participate in *life*, you can and will find the beauty in everything around you. In “Last Stop on Market Street, ” CJ’s grandma had this special gift to find the magic wherever she was. My favorite scene is when she points out to CJ the glowing rainbow arcing across the sky and over an urban city landscape. In this week’s craft, we will be remembering this possibility of finding beauty, by creating our own gorgeous city landscape skylines. Be prepared for an afternoon of magic seeking and creating~*


  • 1 sheet of 8″x 10″ white watercolor or thicker paper
  • 1 sheet of 8″ x 10″ black construction paper
  • Set of watercolors or paints
  • Puffy Paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glitter or sequins
  • Paintbrush
  • Cup for water to rinse brush
  • Paper towel to dry brush
  • Paper plate for paint


* Similar to last week’s craft ~ Be creative! You can make your city sky look however you like! Add color and patterns and glitters wherever and however you would like onto your watercolor paper. The below directions are just suggestions.

  • Starting with your watercolor paper laid out horizontally, squeeze out the paints you want to use, dip the brush in water to loosen the paint, and then use a myriad of colors to cover the entire sheet of paper.  I recommend using lighter colors first so you can paint darker colors over them *lighter colors won’t show up over darker colors*
  • Use the puffy paint to add patterns and swirls in the sky, or even a rainbow!
  • While the paint is till wet, sprinkle glitter or sequins to add shimmer.

  • For the city~ use a pencil to trace a city skyline on the horizontal side of the black piece of construction. All of the buildings should be connected at the bottom. Use a variety of different heights and widths for the buildings to add variety.
  • Cut out the skyline. Cut out windows from the buildings so some of the background sky can shine through.
  • Glue the city to the bottom horizontal side of the sky background.
  • Add any additional patterns or colors to the window openings, or the sky around the buildings!

Enjoy your Finding Beautiful Craft!

  • Use the craft to help you share this story, and explain the important part in the book where CJ’s grandma helps him find the beauty in the sky.
  • Hang your cityscape craft up in the house to remind your family and your little one to look for the beauty all around us everyday and in every place we go.
  • Hopefully it inspire you to take another Nature Walk to discover more of the beauty right outdoors!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Finding Beautiful Craft*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this magical cityscape art piece! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Finding Beautiful Crafts*  and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *