cover image Lunch Bunnies

Lunch Bunnies

Kathryn Lasky, Marylin Hafner. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-51525-2

What if he spills soup all over his tray? What if no one wants to sit with him? On his first day of first grade, Clyde is terrified of lunchtime, and his merciless older brother, Jefferson, who tells him that the school cooks will make him eat ""mystery goosh,"" doesn't help. Even worse, says Jefferson, are the scolding, scratchy-voiced ""lunch ladies."" After a morning of dread, Clyde finally has to face the ordeal of the cafeteria which--no surprise--is far less intimidating than he'd feared. But his classmate Rosemary fares less well: she skids on spilled juice, sending her Jell-O cubes bouncing across the floor. The sympathetic Clyde not only helps her clean up the mess, but joins his new friend at a table. Lasky makes her reassuring tale all the more realistic by adding this minor mishap, showing kids who share Clyde's apprehensions that such incidents can turn out okay. Hafner's bustling illustrations imbue the characters with a great deal of personality, especially the incessantly wide-eyed Clyde; lunch lady Gloria, whose rabbit ears poke out of a hairnet as she chews out snickering fourth-graders; and perky Rosemary. Readers will line up for seconds. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)