BooksForKidsBlog

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

What's for Lunch? Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too! by Maggie P. Chang


GERALDINE LOVES HER FAMILY. . . AND GOING TO SCHOOL. . . WITH HER LUNCH BOX (NAMED BIANDANG). . .ARE FAVORITE THINGS
.

AND THE BEST PART OF GOING TO SCHOOL IS . . . LUNCH!

Geraldine loves the stickers on her lunch box and her grandmother Amah, who always makes her a special lunch--sometimes leftovers from dinner, and sometimes a surprise, with a special note.

But this day at lunch, with yellow curry inside Biandong, was a disaster. Everything was great until...

"SNIFF, SNIFF..."

NICO ARRIVED." EW!!!"

"YOUR LUNCH IS GROSS!!"

Everyone at the table begins to hold their noses and make rude sounds. Geraldine moves as far away from everyone as she can and closes her lunch box and locks it.

That night she eats everything on the table. She asks her grandmother to make her a sandwich for lunch the next day. Amah says they are out of bread, but she'll come up with something.

The next day Geraldine confidently opens her Biandang, expecting a plain sandwich. But it's a BAO--a yummy soft-steamed bun with filling.

"WHAT'S THAT?" ASKED NICO, MAKING A FACE. "IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A SANDWICH! EVEN YOUR SANDWICHES LOOK WEIRD!"

Again Geraldine closes her lunchbox and moves away from Nico and the rest of the kids who are making faces. She sits by a new boy named Deven at the far end of the table. And when she leaves her lunchbox on the bus, Deven calls out that she's forgetting her lunch box. But Nico yells out the window. . .

"THE SMELLY LUNCHBOX BELONGS TO GERALDINE POOO POOO!!"

The kids on the bus drive away, giggling. And when Geraldine gets home, she hurries to her bedroom and...

. . .

SLAMS THE DOOR!

Geraldine throws her lunchbox against the wall. She's instantly sorry and fixes Biandang with some glue. There's Stinky Tofu for dinner, of course. But Geraldine doesn't tell her Amah not to put it her lunchbox. What's the use, she thinks.

And at lunch the next day, she sits with Deven, and he offers her something called Stinky Toe from his lunchbox. It's a sweet and delicious fruit, and she shares her stinky tofu with Deven.

And Deven loves it!

The other kids are speechless, bit Geraldine can't wait to share lunches tomorrow, in author-illustrator Maggie P. Chang's new graphic beginning reader, Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too!: Ready-to-Read Graphics Level 3 (Simon Spotlights, 2021).

Mining those early grade comic horrors of the school lunchroom, Maggie Chang's tale has its happy ending, told delightfully in graphic novel style for early readers.

Author Chang offers novice readers a lesson on the format of graphic novel-reading, along with vocabulary such as speech balloons (for words spoken) and speech bubbles (for unvoiced thoughts), panels, and how to read the panels left to right on the page. Chang also appends a glossary of foods mentioned in the story for young readers, while grownups with more sophisticated palates reading this one aloud may find themselves longing for an actual warm, steamy bao pronto!

School Library Journal says, "Early readers will sink their teeth into this refreshing story."

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