Lunch from Home
What happens when a child’s favorite packed lunch is met with disparaging comments at the school lunch table?
In a classroom of sandwiches, four students stand out with their homemade, culturally-specific lunches. But before they can dig in and enjoy their favorite foods, their lunches are spoiled by scrunched noses and disgusted reactions from their sandwich-eating classmates.
Follow each of the four students as they learn to cope with their first “lunch box moments” in this picture book that encourages empathy and inspires all readers to stand up for their food! Inspired by the “lunch box moments” of four acclaimed chefs, Ray Garcia, Preeti Mistry, Mina Park, and Niki Russ Federman, this heartwarming story reminds us all that one’s food is a reflection of self and an authentic celebration of culture.
Joshua David Stein is a writer, editor, and podcast host in New York City. He is the editor-at-large at Fatherly and host of The Fatherly Podcast. He is the author of multiple adult books, including Food & Beer (Phaidon), Epicurean Journeys (Rizzoli), To Me He Was Just Dad (Artisan), as well as the co-author of Notes from a Young Black Chef (Knopf). He has also written several children's books, including Can I Eat That?; Brick, Who Found Herself in Architecture; The Ball Book (all Phaidon); and most recently The Invisible Alphabet and Solitary Animals: Introverts of the Wild (Rise x Penguin Workshop). He recently founded The Band Books, a band that performs children's books to music. A longtime media fixture, Stein has been the editor-in-chief of BlackBook magazine, the editor at Black Ink, a senior editor at Departures, the senior editor of Eater, and the editor-at-large at Out magazine and Tasting Table. He is currently a contributing editor at Food & Wine. Stein lives in Brooklyn with his two young sons.
Jing Li is a freelance illustrator living and working in Beijing, China. She started making art at age four and has been drawing ever since. In 2013, she moved to the US to study and now holds two MFA degrees with SCAD and MICA. After recently moving back to China, the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, the epicenter of the virus just two hours from her home in Yichang. During the lockdown, she created art for the Washington Post about pandemic life in China, humanizing the difficult experience. In her other work, she is inspired by Hutong culture and by her city’s history and fashion. When she’s not working, she’s spending time with her dogs and taking them for walks. With her art, she hopes to leave behind moments of her life for other to discover for years to come.
-Named a Notable Social Studies Trade Book by the National Council for the Social Studies and Children's Book Council (2023)
"[Lunch From Home] touches on positive portrayals of diversity and inclusiveness and appreciating the connections between food, culture, and family traditions; the four kids in this story are based on real people, each of whom is a professional chef, which adds meaningful weight to their experiences. Bright, naturalistic art vibrantly depicts the kids in the classroom and, of course, their delicious-looking lunches." -- Booklist
"[The] meals are lovingly described by Stein and depicted in vibrant color by Li in this epicurean picture book." -- Publishers Weekly
"[A] layered tale about peer pressure and cultural pride around the lunch table." -- San Francisco Chronicle
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