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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Comics Squad #2: LUNCH! Edited by Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Random House, 2016. $10.50 ages 7 and up

"Hmm. There's Franklin from Spanish class. He's so cute. Is he juggling? Wow." "The only thing that guy can't do is notice me. That's OK - I can notice him." "Uh, excuse me - Um ... hi, Ellie!" "Franklin? Talking? To me?" "Wanna buy one?" "Oh no! A candy car is not part of my lunch. There's no way I can eat that!"  "Um ... er ... But, it's Franklin!"

Returning to the genre of books in graphic form, I want to tell you about the second Comics Squad book. While the first one focused on Recess for its main theme, this one moves readers to the cafeteria and all things lunch related.

The comic tales are told by familiar former artists,  and some new to that previous team. Cece Bell is the first to share her story of a very picky female eater who is enamored of a boy named Franklin. Not wanting to refuse his request that she buy a candy bar (a definite no-no for her palate), she gives in and even tastes it at his urging. Big problem ... and then the perfect solution after a little blip in time! Up next - Charles Schulz' s matchless Snoopy, taking on the role of Head Beagle in charge of lunchroom order and efficiency. He is far too funny! Lessons from a history class on  medieval times lead Babymouse to an attempt to get the peasants' lunch table back from feline usurpers, leading to a dodgeball challenge and defeat at the promise of cupcakes. So it goes ... from one entertaining tale to the next. All readers are sure to have their own favorites.

The eight stories are as diverse as the artists: bullying, World War II, cave soup. The tales are mostly light, full of imagination, and often thoughtful. A few suggestions are made to encourage readers to try their hand at writing, and at drawing. A section is included to introduce the authors and their other works.

Kids who love comics will not be disappointed in this second collection. It is bound to make them 'hunger' for a third!  

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