Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Book 157: My Father's Luncheonette

My Father’s Luncheonette, by Melanie Hope Greenberg, Dutton Children’s Books, 1991.  Preschool to Early Elementary. 

My Father’s Luncheonette starts off with these lines:  “My father’s luncheonette is twelve hops on my left foot, eight hops on my right foot, twenty-three skips, and around the corner from where I live. “  And that perfect opening sentence sets the tone for this book.  The story takes place in an age that I did not live, and in a place that I have never lived, and yet, because this story is so wonderfully personal, I can relate to it.  It feels familiar.

The artwork also feels familiar.  Maybe because I’ve seen Ms. Greenberg’s work before and for a while – maybe Unicef?  Her illustrations are packed with charm and whimsy.  They look deceptively simple, almost as if the narrator herself drew them, if, that is, that eight-year-old narrator had an unerring eye for color and balance, and textures and patterns.