Everyone Loves Lunchtime but Zia

Everyone Loves Lunchtime but Zia
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
February 07, 2023
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Everyone loves lunchtime. Everyone, that is, but Zia.

At school, the other kids are eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese and crackers, and apples on the side. But Zia's always nervous about opening her lunchbox. Her dumpling and noodle dishes look different and smell different. She dreads lunchtime.

Then, during her birthday week, her parents pack her a different Cantonese dish each day and explain what the food represents: a roast pork bun to bring treasure, soy sauce chicken to bring success, and more. At first, Zia doesn’t want to eat her lunch, but once she starts, she just may realize her food could bring her good fortune after all!

Editor review

1 review
Learning about different cultures
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
One of my favorite things about reading is learning about new places and cultures so I was delighted to learn about Cantonese food and its meaning when reading Everyone Loves Lunchtime but Zia. Zia's family loves to pack her lunch with her favorite Cantonese food, but Zia is embarrassed by how different her food is and wishes she could bring crackers and cheese. Zia's parents make her a week of Cantonese lunches each with a special meaning like treasure, togetherness, and success. Zia learns that her cultural food is something to be proud of and she shares her favorite dishes with her class.

The book was beautifully illustrated with mouth-watering pictures of Cantonese food. At the end of the book, there was a glossary for the different foods mentioned. This was extremely helpful since I was unfamiliar with some of those foods. As an added bonus the author included a recipe for Zia's favorite noodle recipe.

Everyone Loves Lunchtime but Zia is the perfect picture book to teach young readers about Cantonese foods and how learning about different cultures can be fun.
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