Author: Rosemary Wells
When Yoko brings sushi to school for lunch, her classmates make fun of what she eats—until one of them tries it for himself.
It is Yoko’s first day at school, so of course her mother wants to sendher off with healthy comfort food for lunch—a delectable package of homemade sushi. “Have a wonderful day at school, my Little Cherry Blossom,”her mother says as Yoko climbs into the bus. And it would have been, had it not been for lunchtime. Timothy brings a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Tulip has Swiss cheese on rye. The Franks brothers have beans and franks. Butwhen Yoko opens her cooler of rice rolls with “the crispiest cucumber, the pinkest shrimp, the greenest seaweed, and the tastiest tuna,” one of the Franks brothers announces, “Ick. It’s green. It’s seaweed.” Tulip and Fritzchime in, “Yuck-o-rama.”Rosemary Wells (Voyage to the Bunny Planet), with her expressive, bright-eyed, chubby-cheeked animal kingdom, has once again successfully tapped into the emotional world of children. The embarrassment of bringing an uncool lunch to school! What child hasn’t wanted to hide under the cafeteria table when caught with a gooey enchilada or a slice of vegetarian lentil loaf? Fortunately, Yoko’s teacher concocts a plan to stop the teasing. Parents who have more ambitious hopes for their children’s lunches than Fritos, PBJs, and Oreos will be relieved to discover that the happy ending does not include Yoko’s giving up her comfort meal or, more importantly, her heritage. (Ages 4 and older)—Gail Hudson