Monday, August 7, 2017
MY FATHER’S LUNCHEONETTE
Age Range: 3 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books; 1st edition (1991)
Past the hardware store and the bank, a red-haired girl hops and skips to her father's luncheonette, a popular gathering place in the hub of a busy Bronx neighborhood. Her father works from breakfast through dinner, flipping burgers and "fizzing up a thousand sodas." In addition to meeting her friends, the girl sometimes helps out with the menus or mixes up unusual drink concoctions (that the customers might not appreciate). "A budding chef," her proud dad exclaims. Amid the hustle and bustle, he always finds time to help his daughter with her homework. Though not employing a traditional storyline, Greenberg's ( At the Beach ) exuberant excursion recalls a time when mom-and-pop businesses proliferated and kids were a part of the workday scene. A sense of cheerful expectancy permeates the atmosphere, and the fresh, geometric artwork is rendered in bright colors with crisp contours.
School Library Journal
A carrot-topped young girl skips down the street and around the corner to her father's traditional Bronx luncheonette, where everything from the black-and-white tile on the floor to the jukebox that takes dimes and plays Twist records harks back to the early '60s. After happily devouring an egg cream, hamburger, and ice cream, plus splitting a square-scooped strawberry ice-cream soda with her best friend, she clips the dinner specials to the menus, then plays and helps till closing time. Flat, stylized illustrations feature colorful patterns and plenty of small bottles, jars, and other cafe accouterments, lending a lively but uncrowded effect. This cheery, simple narrative celebrates a small family business, and there is no sense of adult reminiscence or sentimentality. - John Peters, New York Public Library