Newbery 2016: If Only I Could Have Been a Fly on the Wall

Last Stop on Market Street

I did not post my Mock Newbery choice this morning because I was conflicted.  Echo or The War That Saved My Life?  Echo I read last winter.  The War That Saved My Life, I started last night.  Read half of it and would have stayed up and read; but decided to be a responsible adult and go to bed.

This morning, we live streamed the awards ceremony at the library.  Two minutes after we opened, the Newbery Award was announced.  I was shocked.  Not because the book isn’t great;  but because it’s a picture book.  This year, the announcer seemed to emphasize what the Newbery award is  “to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”  When my top two were announced as Honor Books, I was perplexed what book would win.  Then, the announcement came.  The Last Stop on Market Street.  I wrote about this book last January…Two Books One Illustrator.  It was one of my Five Star Picture Books this year.  After reflection, I agree this is the most distinguished book to American literature for children this year.

Newbery Award winners stay in print.  I’m glad this book will be read by generations of children.

This book was also chosen as a Caldecott honor book.  Appropriately.  I don’t know if a book has ever received a Newbery Medal and Caldecott Honor.  I’d use my super librarian skills to research the answer.  But I’m doing the responsible thing. . . presenting storytime.

It’s hard to be an adult sometimes.  Luckily, I can escape it from time to time by reading quaility books for children.

Five Star Picture Books 2015

It’s that time of year when the “Best of” lists are being published.  The following books received five stars from me on Goodreads, which isn’t easy to do.   I’ve read 499 picture books this year; most which were published this year.  Only fifteen received 5 stars.


Whale in Swimming Pool

The Whale in My Swimming Pool by Joyce Wan


Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper


Home by Carson Ellis

If You Plant a Seed

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

Simons New Bed

Simon’s New Bed by Christian Trimmer and illustrated by Melissa van der Paardt


Waiting by Kevin Henkes

Where's Walrus

Where’s Walrus?  And Penguin? by Stephen Savage

Lizard from Park

Lizard from the Park by Mark Pett

Dog Wearing Shoes

A Dog Wearing Shoes by Sangmi Ko

Everybody Sleeps

Everybody Sleeps (but not Fred) by Josh Schneider

How to Share with Bear

How to Share With a Bear by Eric Pinder and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street by  Matt de La Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Beep Beep Go to Sleep

Beep, Beep, Go To Sleep by Todd Tarpley and illustrated by John Rocco


Look by Jeff Mack

Interstellar Cinderella

Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Meg Hunt

Two Books, One Illustrator

Smallest GirlLast Stop on Market Street

Recently, I brought home two books illustrated by the same author.  I didn’t even realize it until we finished the second book.  ML is becoming an expert in determining the mediums used for picture books.   She nailed it for both these books.  The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade uses color pencils.   Last Stop on Market Street uses a combination of acrylic paint and collage.

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts and illustrated by Christian Robinson – “Hardly anyone noticed young Sally McCabe.  She was the smallest girl in the smallest grade.  But Sally notices everything—from the twenty-seven keys on the janitor’s ring to the bullying happening on the playground. One day, Sally has had enough and decides to make herself heard. And when she takes a chance and stands up to the bullies, she finds that one small girl can make a big difference.”  (From Penguin’s website)

Last Stop on Market Street words by Matt De La Pena and pictures by Christian Robinson – “Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.” (From Penguin’s website)

Why should you read these books?
Both stories are sweet; but not sappy.  They show even the littlest people can make a huge difference.

I’m embarrassed to admit, ML thought the Grandma and boy’s last stop was for a cookout.  The concept of a soup kitchen is foreign to her.  Luckily, there is a local Food Bank which has special days for children to volunteer packing food for families.  I’m calling today to find out more details.