Most Sunday mornings, my daughter and I ride a city bus to church and back home again. We have waited for the bus in the rain and in the falling snow. We have shared smiles with many different drivers and riders as we all explored our great city via public transit.
So I was excited to share Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena with my daughter. How many picture books have families riding a city bus? Only a few that I know of. And none do it with the magic that Matt de la Pena brings to a simple bus ride. Last Stop on Market Street is a celebration of city living that I want to share with everyone–especially those who question my appreciation for public transit.
In the story, CJ and his grandmother are riding the bus after church. CJ asks question after question–Why don’t they have a car? How come that man can’t see? Why do they have to go somewhere after church?–and his grandmother answers them all with kindness. I couldn’t help but smile as I read the story, and at the end, when they arrive at a soup kitchen to serve food to hungry people, I was reminded to look for opportunities to see beauty in the world.
On a chilly morning like this one, I have to admit I was silently wishing we were a two car family, so we could drive to church and my husband could drive to work. But I thought of CJ and his Nana. I thought of all the little moments I’ve had with my daughter on our Sunday morning bus rides. I thought about my city and my church. I am grateful that my city has a pretty great transit service and that my church has so many opportunities to help people. Perhaps one of these Sundays, we will catch a later bus home so we can join the group that packs meals for homeless MCTC students after the service.
You can see some illustrations and read more about the story behind the book in this post at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.