cover image Monster's Lunch Box

Monster's Lunch Box

Marc Tolon Brown. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $14.95 (16pp) ISBN 978-0-316-11313-7

Looking a bit more like a valise than a lunch box, this 9'' x 8'' package opens to reveal a monster mom's idea of haute cuisine. The storybook inside introduces a gaggle of youngsters who discover ``a smelly lunch box'' and then proceed to clamber around its oversized contents. What they find would surely horrify Julia Child, but these tidbits are certain to tickle kids' funnybones. Among the many tasty treats are ``lizard eyes, purple fries,/ three hankies filled with sneeze./ freeze-dried mice, donkey lice,/ a furry fish with fleas'' (a bit of green fur contributes to the realism). Flaps, pull-tabs, simple pop-ups and even a hologram add to the repast's repulsiveness. As a garnish, there's a sheet of stickers of such entrees as Dirty Birdy Feet, Booger Custard, etc. Brown once again demonstrates his understanding of kids' humor as he serves up this gross-out du jour. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)