Summary – Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandmother take the bus to Market Street. CJ is not too thrilled and he asks his grandmother why they have to wait for the bus in the rain, why they don’t have a car, why they always have to go to Market Street after church, among other complains. His grandmother manages to explain things to CJ in a new way and have him see the beauty in everything. It is a very heartwarming story and a great insight on how to raise children that empathize and appreciate the everything they have.
- Bestseller’s Lists or Awards – 17 weeks on The New York Times Bestsellers List for Children’s Picture Books (as of August 7th 2016).Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2015
A Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2015
- Themes – Empathizing, giving back, appreciating what you have, looking at things in a positive way
- Age Range – 3 to 5 Year Olds
- Author/Illustrator – Matt de la Peña/Christian Robinson
- Publisher – G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of The Penguin Group.
- Year Published – 2015
- Original Retail Price – $16.99 for Hardcover Book
- Number of Pages – 32 (includes title page, body of the book, and copyright page)
- Word Count – 755 words total (includes only body pages). Average of 26 words per page.
- Complexity of Story – The author uses simple language intended for younger children.
- P.O.V. – It is told from the point of view the young boy, CJ.
- Dialogue? – There is dialogue.
- Rhyming? – There aren’t any rhyming schemes.
- What Makes it Special? – It follows a boy and his grandmother on a typical Sunday morning. The readers get to experience the day right along with the characters and we get to see things through the eyes of CJ and then his grandmother’s perspective.
- What I like about this book? – I loved the message behind the book about appreciating what you have and looking at the beauty in everyday things. I love that the grandmother manages to present situations, that other adults would prefer to avoid talking about, in a beautiful way. My favorite part is when they get off on Market Street and CJ asks his grandmother why it is always so dirty there. She responds by saying, “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful.”
Thank you for reading my book reviews. The purpose of these reviews is to break down and analyze bestselling and award winning books. It is crucial for writers and illustrators, that wish to be published, to do homework on what books are currently being sold and garnering awards. I hope to figure out what makes these books special and what attributes they share. I hope you will find this review helpful.
Make sure you check back and follow me on Instagram (@WhimsicalStoryBooks) to get sneak peeks, updates, and opportunities to win some of my art.