Author Matt de la Peña

You know the drill. Every Friday, an author or an illustrator drops by to finish my sentences. This week's special guest is award-winning author Matt de la Peña. We chatted about his beautiful new picture book, Christian Robinson, Monchichi, and why we need diverse books. I wrote the words in red, and he wrote the words in black. Thank you, Matt! 

CJ and his grandma are any kid and any grandma, riding any bus, on any Market Street, searching for what’s magical in everyday life.  

Christian Robinson’s illustrations are what make this book what it is – I fell in love from the first sketch.

Illustration Credit: Christian Robinson 

I wrote Last Stop on Market Street to honor Christian’s Nana and my Mexican grandma, and to feature diverse characters in a book that has nothing to do with diversity.

When I was CJ’s age I had a big head, and big ears, and I always wore my favorite black and white polka dot shirt, and the older kids said I looked like a Monchichi (and based on a few old pictures, I guess I sort of did).

Reading is the fuel we need to grow our hearts and minds.

Picture books are little packages of magic.

We need diverse books because the lives of kids like CJ and grandmas like Nana are interesting and beautiful, too, and it would be incredibly sad not to be able to see that reflected in literature.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me if I still look like a Monchichi. Because I don’t. I grew out of it. Though my ears are still kind of big. Also, thanks so much for checking out Last Stop on Market Street!

The Last Stop on Market Street will be released on January 8, 2015. 


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