cover image Home in a Lunchbox

Home in a Lunchbox

Cherry Mo. Penguin Workshop, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-5936-6134-5

Jun, whom end papers reveal has recently moved from Hong Kong to an American suburb, stands at a bus stop one Monday, the translations of three words scrawled on one palm. Jun worries about responding to a peer’s greeting, and as a week of typical school days ensues, Jun moves through a grayed-out world in which others’ conversations are portrayed in scribbles. Memories of home, and images of lunch box contents, are rendered in elegant full-color illustrations alongside swirling hearts and emanata, suggesting feelings of comfort and love. And the following Monday, the lunch box provides a language-barrier-bridging pathway to friendship. In an exceptional debut, Mo deploys digital illustrations that expertly use selective coloring to depict an experience of finding common ground. A glossary of Cantonese words and diagram of Jun’s lunch box concludes. Background characters are portrayed with various skin tones. Ages 4–8. (June)