Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Home in a Lunchbox by Cherry Mo

Posted June 13, 2024 by meezcarrie in 5 stars, Book Review, Cherry Mo, children, giveaway, picture book / 17 Comments

Home in a Lunchbox book review

Home in a Lunchbox by Cherry MoHOME IN A LUNCHBOX by Cherry Mo
GENRE: Children’s Picture Book
PUBLISHER: Penguin Workshop
RELEASE DATE: June 11, 2024

Home in a Lunchbox by Cherry Mo is gorgeous, endearing, heartbreaking, and heartwarming all at once. As a former ESOL teacher for adults, my heart went out to Jun in her first days of school in a new country with a language she doesn’t speak or understand … except for the handful (literally) of words she’s penned in her palm for consulting throughout the day. I wanted to reach in and hug her from the rough beginning to the hope-filled end of this sweet picture book.

The author’s choice to use minimal text, conveying the story in mostly pictures, serves multiple insightful purposes. Not only does it help readers empathize more with Jun by showing what the world is like when you can’t understand the language around you, it hopefully will prompt them to reach out to students like Jun more easily in the future, too.  It also allows readers whose language of origin is not English to immediately identify with Jun AND have a book they don’t have to struggle to read. But even beyond the obvious multicultural lessons, Home in a Lunchbox provides all readers with a loving reminder that we don’t have to be at home to feel the warmth and security of home (or … for those who don’t have a safe home, maybe it’s school or church that represents that safety instead).

Bottom Line: What Home in a Lunchbox by Cherry Mo conveys with only a few words will linger in my heart for a long time. Thanks to the vibrant illustrations that capture Jun’s emotions and struggles so poignantly, as well as the little details that point to her home culture, it doesn’t need a lot of text to speak volumes. I loved the warmth that home represents to adorable Jun, the comforting power of familiar food and a mother’s hug, and I especially appreciated the way that Jun’s lunch – so different from that of her peers – is the catalyst to new friendships and not a negative. This is certainly a beautiful and emotional look at the immigrant experience – and an important tool to foster compassion and education – but it’s relatable to all children on a deeper level, too. Every time I look through it, I find something new to love. Home in a Lunchbox is touching, sweet, and simply gorgeous – a wonderful addition to anyone’s home/school/church library. I’m glad it’s in mine.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / loved it!

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Other Picture Books about the Immigrant Experience

  Jerk Chicken Magic by Noel-Andrew Bennett & Roxanne Bennett

Cherry Mo

Cherry Mo grew up in Hong Kong and moved to the United States at the age of ten. Home in a Lunchbox is her debut picture book and was inspired by her first days of school in America. Cherry writes and illustrates stories that she hopes bring young readers a sense of comfort and belonging. See more of her work on

Home in a Lunchbox giveaway

PenguinKids is offering a print copy of Home in a Lunchbox by Cherry Mo to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Home in a Lunchbox by Cherry Mo with a child in your life?

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17 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Home in a Lunchbox by Cherry Mo

  1. MS Barb

    My grandchildren would love for me to read this book to them! And, the cover is beautiful!

  2. Suzanne Sellner

    I work at a Kumon Learning Center, and the young students I teach would love that book! We have a lot of foreign students who would be able to relate.

  3. sara a marcy

    my great grandson will be 2 in july, he loves books. what a great book to read to him!!!

  4. Dawn Snow

    It’s important to read books of diversity to children so they can understand the world around them.

  5. Nadine

    A local library does cultural food awareness for kids and this book can be featured and foods mentioned within used for sampling.

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