Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Phoebe G. Green: Lunch will never be the same

Phoebe G. Green: Lunch will never be the same

Veera Hiranandani
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Penguin, 2014   ISBN: 978-0448466958

Phoebe Gertrude Green’s mother has given her a new purple notebook and Phoebe is thrilled because she loves the color purple and she loves to write lists in notebooks. She immediately writes down a list of why she is a “lucky girl.” Phoebe’s certainly is lucky on her first day of third grade. Her new teacher, Mrs. B, is a wonderful lady who lets the children draw on the wall. Phoebe’s best friend, Sage, is in her class, and there is a new girl called Camille, who is from France.

   Phoebe quickly learns two things about Camille. She blushes easily, and she eats very strange food at lunch. Instead of eating the school lunch, Camille brings food from home. On the first day of school she brings a little loaf of bread, blue cheese and a salad with piece of duck on it. On the second day of school Camille brings bread again, a salad with beets and goat cheese, and a little raspberry tart. Camille explains that her father is a pastry chef, and he made the little tart for her. Phoebe begins to consider that perhaps the food she eats is not all that appealing. In her family they have the same menu every week and nothing about that menu is in the slightest bit interesting.

   Phoebe begins to wonder what dinners at Camille’s house are like. Are they even fancier than the lunches Camille brings to school? Phoebe decides that she needs to get invited to Camille’s house for dinner, but Camille is so shy that it is not likely that she will invite Phoebe for a playdate, let alone dinner.

   Phoebe comes up with a plan, which somehow backfires. Instead of being invited to Camille’s house, Phoebe ends up inviting Camille to her house. She cannot bear the idea of giving the French girl the usual family leftover dinner when she comes over. There has to be something better they can do. Thankfully, Phoebe’s father promises to help Phoebe make a nice dinner for her guest. Unfortunately their beef Bourguignon does not come out right and they end up having pizza instead. The meal is not the only thing that goes wrong. In school in the days that follow, Sage starts to behave in a very strange way, and although Camille does spend time with Phoebe, she does not invite her over to her house.

   Making new friends can be tricky. Making new friends without losing your old friends can be even trickier. In this sweetly funny book we meet a girl who has a hard time figuring out how to acquire a new and interesting friend without losing her old and best friend. Phoebe is impulsive and sometimes this gets her into trouble, which she then has to figure out how to fix. Readers will love sharing Phoebe’s adventure, and best of all they will learn something about Phoebe at the end of the story that Phoebe did not even know about herself!