It isn’t often that the Newbery Medal is awarded to a picture book. I can think of a few Newbery Honor picture books floating around, but even those are few and far between; I’d have to study my list to see if a picture book has ever won a medal before, and that’s the sort of thing I don’t currently do past 10. (Maybe when the baby starts sleeping through the night again.) Either way, this year’s winner was a surprise.
Matt de la Pena’s Last Stop on Market Street, however, is a worthy winner. (Of several awards, mind you–it’s a Caldecott Honor book and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book as well–and please, please, PLEASE pretend that there’s a tilde on top of that “n” in Pena.) I really want to be friends with CJ’s nana, who takes him home from church on the bus and answers his every question in a way that sheds a different light of meaning on his world. I’m looking forward to my children’s reactions to her answers, actually. It should spark some interesting conversations. Really, if you haven’t read Last Stop on Market Street yet, pick it up for your kids. Or yourself.
(OH, and by the way? Buttercream frosting did quite a lot for those chocolate sugar cookies. Just butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and a touch of butter extract.