Multicultural Picture Book

The Last Stop on Market Street

Riley Rathbun

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"Last Stop on Market Street" is a picture book written by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson. The book was published in 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers.

The read-aloud is intended for second graders. The picture book, "Last Stop on Market Street" follows the bus ride of a young boy and his grandmother through a vibrant neighborhood as they discover the wonder and beauty of a typical Sunday morning. The book has been recognized for several literary awards, including:

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
An NPR Best Book of 2015
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015
A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2015

The picture book honors and celebrates diversity by including cross generational African American family members, a man who is blind, a young man with tattoos, a man in a wheelchair, and older woman and people eating at a soup kitchen. Furthermore, the variety of cultural groups interact authentically on a city bus ride. With the central characters of the book being an African American boy and his grandmother, the members of a "minority" group are included for a purpose other than filling a quota.

In relation to my field placement, this book mirrors several cultural groups found in my school including African American children, people in wheelchairs, and people with a lower socioeconomic status.


Gaining Cultural Knowledge


The author of "The Last Stop on Market Street," Matt de la Peña, is a Hispanic American writer and educator who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing from his time living near the border of Mexico and the United States of America, Matt wrote this picture book reflecting on being surrounded by working class adults in his youth. On the other hand, Christian Robinson, the illustrator, drew inspiration from his childhood years of riding the bus with his grandmother. Robinson's playful illustrations and animations are characterized by "the art of fun." De la Peña and Robinson collaborate to form a picture book showcasing different skin colors, ages, abilities, and classes.

Procedures for Implementing Read Aloud and Vocabulary Presentation

1.State behavioral expectations: This is teacher time. Level 0 voice. Raise your hand if you need help. Our task is to listen to this book and to answer questions about it. Please stay seated and participate. Then we will have success!

2. Before we start reading, we are going to talk about a word. Ask a student volunteer to come up. Say, “You are just an awesome person, I am going to give you this jar of play-doh. What will you say back to me?” Answer: thank you. “When we are thankful to others, we show them an act of gratitude. Say ,"repeat after me: gratitude.” Ask volunteer to sit down, give him/her the play-doh after the lesson is over.

3. View vocabulary card for "gratitude." Say, "Repeat after me class: gratitude." What's this word class? Answer: gratitude. Ask, "What does it mean?" Answer: being thankful. Say, "Yes, and an example of how I show gratitude would be saying thank you to someone who holds the door for me. Ask: “What is one way you have showed gratitude to someone?” Call on 2 students. Sentence starter with, “I showed gratitude by…” Answers: telling them thank you, drawing them a picture, hug, smile.

4. Ask: "Think of a time that you have showed gratitude. Turn to the person sitting beside you and act out how you showed gratitude.” Answers: hug, high five, saying thank you

5. Say, "In this book, “The Last Stop on Market Street,” CJ learns to recognize the blessings right in front of him, with his Grandma's help. He learns to be grateful for little things in his life.

6. Read book, “The Last Stop on Market Street.” Stop at sticky notes on pages and ask questions.

  • Ask, “What clues from the book could give us a hint about where CJ and Nana are going? Where do you think they are going, based on what we’ve already read?” Call on 2-4 students raising their hands. Answers: Nana said they’ll be meeting a few people there who have a new hat, they go there every Sunday after church, It’s in the city.

  • Ask,” How does CJ feel when he listens to the guitar player? How do his feelings now compare to what he was feeling when he was getting on the bus?” Answers: he wasn’t happy to go on the bus initially, now he is happy and feels free.

7. Finish reading book. Ask, “What examples from the book demonstrate CJ learning gratitude?” (listening to guitar player, thankful to ride on the bus, thankful to volunteer with his grandma) Call on 2-3 students to answer.

8. Say, “CJ and Nana took time to help others freely in a soup kitchen at the end of the story. Someone who shares their time and talent for others without getting paid is called a volunteer.

Show volunteer word card. Maybe you’ve seen a parent volunteer in the lunchroom; they are giving of their time to help students and teachers.

9. Ask, “Who can you think of in your school, home, church, or community who gives of their time or talent for others without getting paid?”

Answers: volunteers at the zoo, soup kitchens, coaches, tutors, animal shelters, volunteer at a care home for older people. Say, "hands up, stand up, and pair up with the person beside you and you have 30 seconds to think of a volunteer you know. Listen to your partner really well because I’m going to ask you to explain what they said."

Ask a few partners to summarize what their partner said.

10. Say, “Please find your seat again quickly and quietly. We are going to make a word poster when you go back to your desks. You’ll write the word volunteer on the top of your poster and at the bottom write a sentence using the word volunteer in it. In the middle you will draw a picture of someone volunteering.” Model word poster on the whiteboard. Say, “Now let’s pretend like we are driving a bus as we quietly go back to our seats.”

11.Say, “Please get out your crayons or colored pencils. You’ll have 3 minutes to complete your poster.” Pass out word posters, repeat directions for completing poster.

Why Vocabulary Words Chosen

Volunteer and gratitude are both tier 2 words that the students encounter in their everyday lives. Although the words are not explicitly stated in the text, they act as the background themes of the story.


1. I chose "The Last Stop on Market Street" as my multicultural real-aloud book because the main characters are African American and recently a negative comment was said against the African American race in my classroom. Furthermore, the book addressed volunteerism, a tier 2 word that the students have not yet been explicitly exposed to, but which will be mentioned throughout their life.
2. The read-aloud strengths included my steady pace along with well-prepared questions with sticky-note cues. The picture book was colorful, contained minimal words on the page, and was a good length for the thirty minute time period. The strengths of the vocabulary teaching presentation, as my CT pointed out, were my explicit and clear instructions along with visual and verbal aids. Also, during the vocabulary presentation, I incorporated humor and drew a beard on my example of a volunteer which made the lesson more engaging with several laughs!
3. Next time, I would need to better manage the partner time and attention grabbers for the whole class such as utilizing clapping or a chant to bring their attention back to me rather than just saying, "I need your eyes back on me." Additionally, next time I will incorporate more higher level thinking questions rather than recall prompts. Also, I would be more clear on giving examples and non-examples of the vocabulary word before I ask the students to do a meaningful activity with it.

Implementing multicultural children's literature that is culturally and linguistically diverse relative to my elementary students has provided them with a mirror, reflecting their cultures, and also acted as a window to showcase lower socioeconomic status. Furthermore, implementing multicultural literature has exemplified meaningful and authentic interactions between people of different cultural groups, which sets a great example for the students of my diverse classroom.