Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lunch Lady's Serving Up Justice... and Lunch

Finally! After months of waiting, Jarrett Krosoczka's graphic novel series about a crime fighting lunch lady and three kids who find out her Clark Kent-ish secret have hit the shelves! Unfortunately, as my personal copies are in transit from Amazon and only the first of the two titles released today has reached the library, I can only comment on Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute. I must be patient for Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians. (Evil librarians!! *gasp*)

Well, first, purely from "an enjoyable read" standpoint... I laughed out loud. The book actually came in a few days ago (perks of being a librarian), but had to keep it mum until it was released. But I promptly made my joy known by, the second my sharp eyes saw it on the cataloguer's truck, squealing like a little kid, swiping it off the truck and sitting down promptly to read the long-awaited masterpiece. Okay, I'm being *slightly* dramatic, but it was so good. I proceeded to annoy my coworkers by obnoxiously laughing out loud, interrupting their work to read lines and bounce up and down in my seat. Seriously.

The story revolves around the lunch lady. Three friends innocently ponder whether their lunch lady has a life outside school. "Nah, she probably lives at home with her hundred cats" type comments ensue, only to cut away to a very James Bond-ish lunch lady. Her faithful sidekick makes super-cool spy gadgets like spatulas that turn into helicopters and a lunch tray laptop. Back to the Cyborg Substitute plot. Something fishy's up when a beloved teacher's class is taken over by a sub. The kids are suspicious. The lunch lady's suspicious. And the kids are suspicious of the lunch lady. I'll save the rest of the plot, but you're left with a cliffhanger, so I can't wait to see what happens in League of Librarians!

As for the "professional" part of the review, the illustrations are amazing! Jarrett Krosoczka is one of my favorite if not the favorite. His illustrations shine in a graphic novel format. I'm not a huge graphic novel lover. But I loved this. The white, yellow, and blue only of his illustrations seems odd, but perfect. The story is fully told, even in graphic novel format. The font lends to the story; for example, when the cyborg substitute is unveiled, the font of his voice just screams "robotic". The book will appeal to both boys and girls, but especially boys. It's probably for the 7-11 year old crowd, mainly, but as always, that can swing. Fans of everyone from the Stink books to Captain Underpants and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid crowd will love it! It's definitely got the corny humor... when the lunch lady sees the spatu-coptor, she says "Sweet potatoes!" But it's spot on perfectly funny!

So can't say enough. He's one of my favorites. The first Lunch Lady did not disappoint and I can't wait to get my little hands on the League of Librarians! For another good read in the same genre, check out Eric Wight's Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom (how could a book with that title go wrong??)

Now... which of my young patrons will get the pleasure of "first reader"...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure

The power of choice. How often do we take that for granted?

As Mo Willems said on his blog, it's "summer hours"... which means I don't usually have much time to write with how crazy living life is, but I emerge from insanity because of something that God's been showing me repeatedly this week. I have the power to choose.

Yes, people are inconsiderate and often lack common courtesy. Situations are so chaotic you think someone was dispensing free crazy pills. You struggle through something. You just experience life and life is not easy. (Thankfully though, a lot of times it's amazing!) But in the midst of living, think of this quote I read.

You might not be able to control the first thought that pops into your head, but you can control your second and third.

I saw that in action this week through the famous saluting construction worker with his skeleton sidekick, making the most out of their stretch of roadwork near the intersection of Brookside and Lower Macungie Rd. Directing traffic in a construction area could be boring. It could get motorists... someone perturbed. But how could you not smile in response to this guy? He's choosing a different response from the norm.

And I want to, too.