Geraldine Pu and Her Lunchbox, Too – Maggie P. Chang

 Geraldine Pu and Her Lunchbox, Too! (Ready To read Graphics, Level 3) – Maggie P. Chang, Simon Spotlight, (9781534484696), 2021

Format:  Hardcover Graphic novel

Genre: Realistic

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book?   Geraldine Pu, a Taiwanese-American girl loves the lunches her grandmother Amah packs into her purple lunchbox that she calls Biandang.  But a new boy named Nico smells the curry and taunts: “Your lunch is gross!” Soon other students join in the bullying.  The next day she asks her Amah to pack her a sandwich.  When she opens her lunchbox she finds a bao and when the other students make fun of it, she packs it away and does not eat.  On the bus Nico calls her “Geraldine Pooo Pooo.”  Geraldine is in a bad mood and she regrets not eating her yummy bao.  After dinner that night her Amah asks if she wants some leftover stinky tofu for lunch the next day and Geraldine agrees.  She decides to sit far away from Nico but hears him telling a boy named Deven that his lunch stinks.  Geraldine marches over to Deven and asks to try the fruit called a sinking toe in Jamaica.  She finds it yummy and offers Deven some of her stinky tofu.  The two new friends bond over lunch and Geraldine once again cannot wait for lunch the next day.  The author includes an introduction on how to read a graphic book, a recipe for Amah’s steamed pork Bao, and a message about Taiwanese culture, names, and food.  The colorful illustrations add detail and humor, especially the anthropomorphized Biandang with its zipper smile.  

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a good choice for teaching children to be aware of and respect cultural differences.  Geraldine’s courage to stand up to the bullies sets a good example.  

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Early Readers

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?   No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  7/19/21        

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