By Amy B. Popp, Library Media Specialist, Tuscan School
This past month, second graders in Ms. Popp’s library classes at Tuscan School studied the book, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson; this book was awarded the 2015 Newbery and a Caldecott Honor Award. Students listened to the book read aloud, participated in a discussion about the book, and then wrote about “Finding Beauty in the Ordinary”. This picture book is about a grandmother and her grandson who take a bus through an urban area to serve in a soup kitchen. On their bus ride they see a diverse group of people: a man with tattoos, a blind man, a woman with a jar of butterflies, and a man playing the guitar. The grandmother teaches her grandson how to see beauty in everything and everyone.
Students did a remarkable job writing on this theme. One student wrote, “I think that any ordinary living being is beautiful because it is living and it should be respected by all meanings no matter what they look like and they should not be treated like they are not there.” Another second grader wrote, “I think something beautiful in the book is that the Nonna always looks on the good side and the pictures have so much detail.“ Another wrote, “What I thought was beautiful is when the [blind] man was playing the song [on the guitar] and closed [his] eyes.“ As seen in their writing, the theme of “Finding Beauty in the Ordinary” resonated with students.