'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 31 March 2023

Review: Little Lunch: The School Gate

The Little Lunch books are a wickedly sparkling series for children (and their adults) to fall into with hilarity and glee. Cleverly chaotic words and messy, inky images with line-drawings all intermingle in the most perfect, unexpected and disgusting ways.

Back in the day when my young children inhaled each of the Little Lunch books with abandon, I was delighted, horrified, amused and repulsed in turn. And I’m happy to report, that I still am. These books are fabulous!

The School Gate begins with sad Manny, whose lunch box has fallen outside the school gate where no children are allowed to go during school time. What follows is the involvement of his entire class thinking up ingenious and ridiculous ways to retrieve it – which they eventually do. And they help him eat his amazingly diverse and delicious lunch, too.

The Girls’ Toilet sees Amba and Debra-Jo Woo making peace between themselves with toilet paper princess dress-ups. In The Oval, we witness the whole class becoming so bored with one ball game, that they put their heads together to make up a different and whole new ball game entirely… Which they all play.

As I’ve stated previously, one of the many gifts of the Little Lunch series is that it shows children at their best and worst simultaneously. These books are also way ahead of their time in offering up strategies for communication, inclusion, resilience and self-determination – without ever mentioning those words! 

This book’s bonus stuff includes a quiz, riddles, making instructions, puzzles and other unmentionables. And Little Lunch is now also a television series to boot!

Highly recommended (except for the squeamish).  Read Elizabeth' reviews of the other Little Lunch series.

Title: Little Lunch: The School Gate
Author: Danny Katz
Illustrator: Mitch Vane
Publisher: Walker Books, $14.99
Publication Date: January 2023
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760656805 
For ages: 8 - 10
Type: Junior Fiction