Review of The Last Stand

The Last Stand The Last Stand
by Antwan Eady; illus. by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey
Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp.
1/24    9780593480571    $18.99
Library ed.  9780593480588    $21.99
e-book ed.  9780593480595    $10.99

The plight of Black farmers takes center stage in this affecting picture book. A boy and his grandfather faithfully take their produce to a farmers’ market every Saturday. Papa’s stall is the only one occupied, but “it wasn’t always this way.” Just two years ago, there were five. The Pumphreys’ expressive illustrations, created using handmade stamps and edited digitally, highlight the richness of the harvest, the deep purple plums, large orange pumpkins, and vibrant green bell peppers. Papa knows his customers well and even stops at Mrs. Brown’s to deliver plums after the stand closes each week. When Papa is too tired to carry on this work, his customers come to him to share a meal consisting of the bounty from his land. The final spread reveals that even though Papa’s days of harvesting are over, the family’s connection to farming won’t end. A bumper sticker on his pickup truck along with signs in his barn and stand promote the cause of Black farmers. An author’s note provides information about the dwindling number of Black farmers due to discrimination.

From the January/February 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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