Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box Too!
Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box Too! is a fun book for early readers. As a graphic, chapter book, the text will appeal to many readers. The pictures are amusing.

Geraldine is Taiwanese American and she likes her Grandma, “Amah,” to fix her lunches. Her close friend, the purple lunch box, holds her food safe until lunch time at school. Geraldine often has curry and other yummy family favorites.

One day Nico, a boy in her class, calls her lunch “gross.” Geraldine is hurt she does not know how to respond especially when other students also say her lunch is “yuck.” Geraldine is sad. The next day she brings a Taiwanese sandwich, a bao, and Nico still ridicules her. When Nico picks on a Jamaican American classmate, Deven, and says his food stinks, Geraldine takes a moment and thinks what to do.

Geraldine knows that Deven felt bad too, so she said in a very loud voice, “May I try a bite of that?” Her classmates were surprised. They watched as Geraldine took a bite and carefully chewed it. Then she said loudly, “YUMMMMMM!” The children in her class are flabbergasted!

Geraldine learns to fight back with empathy and kindness. This is a great story for a parent or teacher of kindergarteners through second graders to teach how to deal with mean students who lack manners and concern for others. This particular issue often happens in schools so the book can help young people learn how to respond with warmth and care to a negative situation.

Since Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box too! is a chapter book, younger readers may also be proud to read a text that is like ones that older students enjoy. The drawings of Geraldine are bold and animated showing her as a person who thinks and acts. Readers can learn some words in Chinese too! At the beginning of the book, there is a glossary with pronunciations and meanings of Chinese terms.

Thank You, Neighbor
Thank You, Neighbor tells the story of a young Asian American with a kind dog who is a friendly and warm neighbor. The drawings of the Asian youngster could be a girl or boy. Like Mr. Rogers, the young person encourages others to say hello to everyone in the neighborhood and thanks those who help to make the neighborhood welcoming, safe, and clean.

The youngster thanks firefighters who rescue a cat stuck in a tree and sanitation workers who pick up trash. A fire fighter also opens up a street hydrant on a hot day so the children can play in the water. All of the kids say, “Thank you, neighbor!” Chan created fun illustrations with bright and bold colors showing many diverse people who live in the community.

Chan encourages her readers to help each other by saying thank you when a person helps carrying something for another or finds an item on a high shelf at a store for someone. At the library the young person checks out books like Last Stop on Market Street, about a grandmother and grandson who helps others in their community. The youngster always says to the librarian, “Thank you!”

Parents and teachers can use the book to teach children to use their manners and be polite. The book reminds the reader that we are members of a big community and can help each other and say, “Thank you, neighbor!”

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