The world in my lunchbox

A new children's book features international recipes.

Mark Thomson
A real treat: 'Everybody Eats Lunch' by Cricket Azima is a lunchbox-shaped book for ages 3 to 8.

Ah, lunchtime. Everyone enjoys this midday break. It's just the thing to tide you over between breakfast in the morning and dinner in the evening.

But, depending on where you live, not all lunchboxes are filled with the same things. What do you usually eat for lunch? Do you have a list of favorite lunch foods? Where and when do you eat? You can answer these questions and see how kids from around the world do the same in a new picture book "Everybody Eats Lunch," written by Cricket Azima and illustrated by Titus V. Thomas.

This lunchbox-shaped book comes complete with a handle for easy toting. On the first page you can write and draw all about what lunchtime is like for you. Turn the page and take a peep at a map of the world with flaps that show you characters from different corners of the globe who eat lunch each day, just like you.

Next, meet cartoon kids from Mexico, Japan, Brazil, South Africa, and Jamaica. They'll tell you their names and how to say "lunch" in their languages. Some of the kids eat lunch at home, while others gobble up their meals at school. They all dig in at different times, too. Lunch can begin as early as 11 in the morning or as late as 2 in the afternoon.

Take a good look at what each boy or girl loves to eat most for lunch. Then comes the best part: Lift out the card showing the colorful drawing of each food to reveal a recipe for how to make it. Ask Mom or Dad to help you gather ingredients and prepare some of the tasty cuisine from each country.

You can sample dishes as distinctive as cactus salad from Mexico and "bunny chow" from South Africa (which actually contains chicken, not bunny!). Or try fried plantains (a banana-like fruit) from Jamaica, onigiri rice balls from Japan, and Brazilian-style rice and beans.

Any way you slice it, "Everybody Eats Lunch" is a treat to read.

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