Zak's Lunch

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Overview

A ham and cheese sandwich for lunch? Even Zak's dog agrees it's boring! When Zak complains, his mother tells him, "This is not a restaurant, young man. I want that lunch gone. And that's that." But suddenly, Lou, a fast-talking, frizzy-haired waitress, appears to take his order—a triple-decker, super-duper cheeseburger deluxe, a pile of crazy fries, a pound of pickles, giant pizzas, cherry fizzes, and anything else Zak requests. Then, just as Zak is diving into piles of yummy desserts, reality returns with a ...

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Overview

A ham and cheese sandwich for lunch? Even Zak's dog agrees it's boring! When Zak complains, his mother tells him, "This is not a restaurant, young man. I want that lunch gone. And that's that." But suddenly, Lou, a fast-talking, frizzy-haired waitress, appears to take his order—a triple-decker, super-duper cheeseburger deluxe, a pile of crazy fries, a pound of pickles, giant pizzas, cherry fizzes, and anything else Zak requests. Then, just as Zak is diving into piles of yummy desserts, reality returns with a vengeance . . . and with a sandwich! The unbeatable team of Margie Palatini and Howard Fine, author and illustrator of the award-winning "Piggie Pie!," combine bold, mouthwatering illustrations with hilarious text for a deliciously imaginative escapade.

Rather than eat his boring old ham and cheese sandwich, Zak conjures up Lou, a waitress who serves him a delectable feast for the imagination.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A boy daydreams of a diner that exists just for him. "Combining gross-out appeal with a fantasy premise, this lively book gives those with eyes that are bigger than their stomachs plenty of food for thought," PW said. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a boy's goofy daydream of a diner existing just for him, sky-high piles of fries, fleets of pizzas and "a tub of spaghetti with meatballs the size of baseballs" offer an alluring alternative to the boring ham and cheese sandwich made by his mother. Vivid watercolor-and-pastel illustrations by Fine, previously teamed with Palatini for Piggie Pie!, feature exaggerated close-ups and skewed perspectives, adding a frenzied quality to this snowballing pig-out. Kids who always want "this much"stretching their arms widewill be awed by Zak's feast, beginning with "a triple-decker, super-duper burger deluxe. With lots of grease, and runny ketchup, fried onions, gooey yellow cheese that squirts at you when you take a bite, and at least a pound of pickles." The meal grows progressively crazy until Zak, his Saint Bernard and the diner waitress Lou are sliding through mountains of ice cream. Caricatured faces with red noses gleam as brightly as the greasy pepperoni or the array of colorful shakes and sodas covering the pink Formica counter. Combining gross-out appeal with a fantasy premise, this lively book gives those with eyes that are bigger than their stomachs plenty of food for thought. Ages 4-8. Apr.
Children's Literature - Wendy Pollock-Gilson
Bemard, George, accompanies him to Zak's Diner, and solves the problem of the unwanted ham and cheese sandwich. Children will have great fun discussing what they would order if their kitchen was a diner. All dog owners will appreciate and remember a dog that helped them out by eating unwanted food at the dinner table.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3Zak refuses to eat the ham and cheese sandwich his mother has prepared for his lunch. As he stares at his food, he imagines a restaurant where he can have anything he wants. Suddenly, he and his dog George are at Zak's Place, where the waitress, who bears a marked resemblance to his mother, rejects his order of a hamburger as too boring. Zak rises to the challenge and asks for "a triple-decker, super-duper burger deluxe. With lots of grease, and runny ketchup, fried onions, gooey yellow cheese that squirts at you when you take a bite, and at least a pound of pickles. The kind that make your mouth pucker." He also orders other entrees, fountain drinks, and all sorts of desserts. When his fantasy ends, Zak finds himself facing the same sandwich and the same order from his mother: "I want to see that sandwich gone." He looks the other way while George makes his lunch disappear, a solution young dog owners may have already discovered. This tale of a child's wishful thinking will appeal to readers of Palatini and Fine's Piggie Pie! (Houghton, 1995). The story moves along at the same quick pace, the humor is right on target for reluctant eaters, and the watercolor-and-pastel illustrations explore similarly exaggerated or unusual perspectives. The large pictures of mountains of food make this especially fun for group consumption.Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
A standoff between Zak and his mother over what's for lunch forms the basis for another situation comedy from the collaborators behind Piggie Pie (1995). When faced with a sandwich that's too hammy, too cheesy, and threatens to bring on mustard breath, ornery Zak clamps closed his mouth in refusal to eat. His mother insists, "This is not a restaurant, young man," prompting Zak to daydream about Zak's Place, where he can order what he wants when he wants it. A suspiciously unmotherly waitress named Lou shouts orders in diner-speak to grant Zak's every outlandish gastronomic wish. Greasy "moo meat" with a pound of pickles on the side, skinnies, ziggies, and curlicue fries, pizzas the size of bike tires, and baseball-sized meatballs washed down with a flood of drinks are consumed by Zak and his dog George with nary a thought of stomachaches. Zak's endless appetite takes on tall-tale proportions, but the only thing getting full is the landscape of his fantasies. His mother's voice pulls him back to the impoverished sandwich, stranded on its plate, which George obligingly gulps down. The story is as thin and grating as Lou's voice, but the artfully skewed pictures have all the spill-on-your-lap fixin's of a two-fisted sandwich. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618486038
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.31 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Margie Palatini

Howard Fine is the illustrator of many popular picture books. He lives with his family in White Plains, New York.Visit his website at

www.howardfineillustration.com

.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    Great Book!!

    My wife and I have read this book to our 5 year old son at least 25 times in the last 3 weeks. He just loves it! Great pictures and how true for young kids in Zak's predicament. Our son has now become very interested in getting a big dog like George!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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