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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too!

Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too!
Ready To Read Graphics
by Maggie P. Chang
Illustrations by the author
Simon Spotlight
64 pages
ISBN: 9781534484696

A Junior Literary Guild Selection 

Geraldine Pu takes her lunch to school every day. Her amah (grandma) packs yellow curry and stinky tofu for her. A boy named Nico makes fun of her lunch calling it stinky. Pretty soon other kids at the lunch table join in calling her lunch "gross" and "weird." Geraldine is mortified. She asks Amah to pack her a sandwich for tomorrow's lunch. 

The next day, she has a bao ( a special sandwich in her lunch) which is a type of Chinese sandwich. Nico again says mean things about Geraldine's "strange" lunch, and Geraldine doesn't eat her bao. Later, she hides her lunch box from her Amah. She doesn't want to hurt her grandmother's feelings. 

The next time Geraldine opens her lunch box, she sits far away from Nico, but he's still saying, "Yuck, that stinks." This time, it's not Geraldine's lunch, it's Devon, a boy from her bus. Geraldine knows exactly how he feels and goes to sit beside him. She even tries a bite of the fruit Devon says that in Jamaica is called, "stinking toe." They bond over their stinky lunches. 

What a cute way to introduce emergent readers to different cultures and foods other than their own! Included is a page of definitions of all the Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese words and Geraldine herself instructs readers how to navigate reading a graphic novel. An intelligent book about inclusion and belonging. A must read! This would be a great class read and tie it to a discussion about foods that are popular in the children's households. 

Highly, highly recommended. This little gem of a book will be an award winner for sure! 

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