cover image Lunch


Denise Fleming. Henry Holt & Company, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1636-9

Soup's on in this tummy-tempting concept book. A very hungry mouse nibbles and crunches his way through the various components of a vegetarian repast, while the text introduces readers to the individual foods and their respective colors. The book's design also allows for some guessing games-each right hand page presents visual and textual clues about what comes next in the progression. The brief, adjective-rich prose lists Mouse's menu-sour purple grapes, juicy pink watermelon with black crunchy seeds-in a large boldface type that is a boon for group sharing (and often a confidence builder for newly independent readers). Mouse with his protruding stomach (much like Templeton the rat in Charlotte's Web) appears on the final page, covered with the feast's rainbow remnants, each smudge labeled to serve as a color/food recap. Fleming's pulp painting technique drenches each page with vibrant hues. A black-andwhite-checked tablecloth appears throughout, further punching up the color contrasts-shiny red apples stand out, even on a red background. Bon appetit! Ages 2-7. (Sept.)