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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lunchtime, written and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb. Macmillan, Raincoast. 2013. $9.99 ages 3 and up

It's lunchtime. A parent's agenda can often get in the way of a child's imagination and learning. In this sweet book, the little girl is very busy with artistic endeavors. Her mum is not to be trifled with; the child makes her way to the table. Does that mean she has to eat what is placed before her? No, it does not.
The lunch looks absolutely palatable...tomato soup, a sandwich and an apple. I'm not sure that her determination not to eat necessarily stems from her aversion to what is on her plate; rather, it is the interruption to the unchecked joy of her imagination. After all, she has been fully engaged  in drawing a gloriously colorful alligator.
After much time spent sitting at the table, she is surprised when her alligator, accompanied by a bear and a wolf, happily help her consume her uneaten lunch:
"I said, "But I thought you liked
eating small children."
"Oh, no!"  said the crocodile.
"Children taste disgusting."
"Horrible!" said the wolf.
"Revolting!" said the bear."
The lunch is consumed with gusto, mum is pleased and the table is cleared, allowing a return to the work of the day. Playing happily doesn't allay the hunger pangs throughout the afternoon.
I wonder how she will feel about supper?
Rebecca Cobb is a deft kid-watcher. She proves it by creating realistic and warm mixed media artwork in this lively readaloud that will resonate with anyone who has had to deal with a young child's grit and determination when it comes to mealtime.                                                                       

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