EARLY READER FICTION : Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too! by Maggie P. Chang



ABOUT THE BOOK

Geraldine Pu’s favorite part of school is lunch. She loves her lunch box, which she calls Biandang. She can’t wait to see what her grandmother, Amah, has packed inside it each day. Then one day, Geraldine gets stinky tofu...and an unexpected surprise. What will she do?

Ready-to-Read Graphics books give readers the perfect introduction to the graphic novel format with easy-to-follow panels, speech bubbles with accessible vocabulary, and sequential storytelling that is spot-on for beginning readers. There’s even a how-to guide for reading graphic novels at the beginning of each book.

REVIEW

This early reader graphic novel tells the story of Geraldine Pu and her lunch box named Biandang who carries the delicious meals her Amah makes for her to take to school.  She loves the food her grandmother provides including curry, bao, and stinky tofu.  But when Nico, a boy at school, makes fun of the food she brings, she decides it's easier to blend in and asks her Amah to make her a sandwich instead.  When her grandmother doesn't make her a sandwich and sends her with bao instead, she doesn't eat it and comes home grumpy.  After throwing Biandang across the room and being forced to repair her dear friend, Geraldine has to decide what she's going to do the next time Nico makes fun of her lunch.  The next day to her surprise, someone else has become a target.  Can she help or is Nico's loud voice going to be the only one the kids get to hear?

Chang has done a fine job of telling a relatively simple story in a pleasing and enjoyable way.  The art is adorable and easy to follow.  Geraldine is a likable character and her problem a relatable one.  Her attachment to her lunch box made me smile.  While Geraldine's problem is straight-forward, her path to a solution is not as she wrestles with her love for her cultural background versus her desire to be accepted by her classmates.   A lovely book with a great message and delightful illustrations.

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