Home in a Lunchbox (Hardcover)

Home in a Lunchbox By Cherry Mo, Cherry Mo (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Cherry Mo, Cherry Mo (Illustrator)
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July/August 2024 Kids Indie Next List

“This story is brimming with rich and warm illustrations that invite you to discover the unifying power of food: how the simple act of sharing a meal with others can create and invoke belonging and community.”
— Courtney Roach, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO


Cherry Mo's stunning debut is about a young girl who immigrates to America and finds home in an unexpected place.

When Jun moves from Hong Kong to America, the only words she knows are hello, thank you, I don’t know, and toilet. Her new school feels foreign and terrifying.

But when she opens her lunchbox to find her favorite meals—like bao, dumplings, and bok choy—she realizes home isn’t so far away after all.

Through lush art and spare dialogue, Cherry Mo’s breathtakingly beautiful debut picture book reminds readers that friendship and belonging can be found in every bite.

About the Author

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 www.cherrymo.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @hellocherrymo.

Praise For…

An Indie Next List Pick
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

"Memories of home, and images of lunch box contents, are rendered in elegant full-color illustrations alongside swirling hearts and emanata, suggesting feelings of comfort and love. In an exceptional debut, Mo deploys digital illustrations that expertly use selective coloring to depict an experience of finding common ground." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This remarkable story about finding comfort in a new home by bringing along familiar traditions is a must-purchase for picture book collections and will resonate with any child who has struggled to fit in."  —School Library Journal, starred review

"Round-faced, endearing Jun is utterly expressive; her sadness upon returning home each day is especially palpable...A touching immigrant story that hits the heart—and stomach." —Kirkus Reviews

"With its spare text (most of which is speech-bubble dialogue), the story is primarily conveyed through Mo’s sensitively drawn, sometimes paneled illustrations, which vividly depict Jun’s emotional state. This debut picture book captures the immigrant experience, highlighting the impact of small gestures of kindness and celebrating the unifying power of food across cultures and languages." —Horn Book

“Lushly illustrated but with carefully sparse text, Home in a Lunchbox is a sensitive and warm debut. This book is a reminder for grown-ups of how differences can bring us together, and a story for children about making friends, bad days, and the warmth and comfort food from home can bring. This story reminds us all how anyone can feel lonely, but small gestures can travel for miles. A beautiful book.”—Erin E. Stead, illustrator of the Caldecott Medal–winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee
“This lushly illustrated book takes readers on a journey of memory and hope, highlighting the power of food to build connections across language, space, and time.”—Joanna Ho, New York Times bestselling author of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593661345
ISBN-10: 0593661346
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 40
Language: English