The “Lunch Bunch” series is now available in French
from les éditions du Boréal.
THE LUNCH BUNCH SERIES
STARRING BERNADETTE INEZ O’BRIAN SCHWARTZ .
$8.95 paperback with black and white illustrations 128 Pages 7.5 5.25 Ages: 7-9
FROM THE REVIEWS:
Bernadette to the Rescue is the fourth [sic] adventure book of a popular series about a third grade eccentric, lovable girl detective with eco-learnings. Bernadette and her friends Annie, Keisha, and Megan decide to attend day camp together after finishing third grade, and although Bernadette fears she will miss her usual museum camp experiences, she finds challenge and meaning in investigating a mysterious disappearance of a local frog population. Using scientific method, Bernadette arrives at some surprising findings and enjoys good fellowship and growth in meeting new challenges along the way. Bernadette to the Rescue is a chapter book for readers ages 7-9, with appealing characters, quirky black and white drawings by Melanie Allard, and fast action with built in surprises. To instill a healthy send of self and empowerment especially in young girls along with improving language and reading skills, there is nothing like this charming series. The characters radiate genuine concern for each other and the environment, and the political correctness factor is not annoyingly obsessive, just underlying.
– The Midwest Book Review, June 2012
“Bernadette is an inquisitive young scientist with a passion for nature conservation. Every year, Bernadette’s neighbourhood hosts an annual garage sale for charity. This year, all of the money is going towards preserving the Amazon rainforest. Because Bernadette is eager to help save the rainforest, she convinces her friends, Keisha, Annie, and Megan, to help her raise money with a face painting stand. The girls use Bernadette’s new Cocker Spaniel puppy, Pretzel, to attract customers to their stand. They successfully raise $62.43 for charity, but Bernadette is not satisfied. She wants to do more to help endangered animals, and she finds opportunities in unexpected places.
With third grade coming to an end, Bernadette’s friends are all planning on going to Camp Lakeview for summer holidays. They want her to come along, but Bernadette is used to going to Museum Camp, and she is afraid she won’t like Camp Lakeview. Because she is concerned it won’t be scientific enough, Bernadette comes up with numerous excuses for not going to Camp Lakeview. She soon learns that she can incorporate science into her life wherever she goes – even Camp Lakeview.
At Camp Lakeview, the girls sign up for different activities. Bernadette is in nature studies when Counsellor Jenny notices the frogs have disappeared from the camp. Jenny creates a small aquarium to observe the growth of the pond’s tadpoles, but Bernadette becomes frustrated with Jenny’s passive approach to science. Bernadette decides to solve the frog mystery herself. She conducts a private experiment to test the pond’s water quality and closely observes the tadpoles’ natural habitat.
With science, Bernadette finally solves the frog mystery. She explains to Jenny that the tadpoles aren’t getting enough algae to grow into frogs because the overgrown trees near the pond are increasing the shade and decreasing the light needed for algae’s photosynthesis. Jenny asks the camp director to have the trees trimmed and, shortly after, the tadpoles grow into frogs, repopulating Camp Lakeview. Bernadette, her mother, and Pretzel are invited to the Tadpole Coming Home Party where they return the aquarium tadpoles to their natural habitat. Bernadette learns that she can use science wherever she goes and that it can be good to try new things.
Bernadette to the Rescue is comprised of a series of episodic events woven together by Bernadette’s desire to use science to help nature. Her character is remarkable, yet her experience of frustration and her apprehension over trying new activities are relatable to younger audiences.
While Bernadette to the Rescue is the third title in the Bernadette series by Toronto’s Susan Glickman, the story works well as an independent read. There are references to events and people introduced in the first two books, Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch and Bernadette in the Doghouse, but all references are adequately explained so that newcomers to the series can easily follow along. As presented in the first two books, black and white illustrations accompany the text.
$8.95 Paperback with black and white illustrations / 124 Pages • 7.5 x 5 / Ages: 7-9
FROM THE REVIEWS:
“When her former best friend Jasmine comes to visit during winter break, third-grader Bernadette ignores her current friends, hurting their feelings and coming close to breaking up the Lunch Bunch … When Bernadette realizes how much she values these new friends … she comes up with the perfect lunch strategy to make things right. In this sequel to Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch (2009), Glickman again portrays elementary-school life realistically. Bernadette’s difficulties juggling her friendships, her longing for a puppy of her own and her discomfort when her classmates think she’s responsible for the month-long Healthy Food Challenge will feel familiar. The relatively long, mostly un-illustrated chapters are best suited for the most able chapter-book readers, who will appreciate the challenge and are less often served by material appropriate to their lives and experiences.
A satisfying sequel leaving room for more.”
© Kirkus Reviews, September 2011
“Bernadette in the Doghouse is the second book in the Lunch Bunch series, which revolves around the adventures of third-grader Bernadette and her three special friends, Annie, Keisha, and Megan. Bernadette faces a friendship dilemma when her best friend Jasmine comes to visit for the holidays and Bernadette ends up ignoring her Lunch Bunch friends to be with Jasmine, visiting the science center, and conducting weird experiments attempting to create ice cream from snow. Bernadette’s mother plays a special role in believing in her daughter’s ability to create solutions to her relationship dilemmas. The whole thorny issue of BFF competitive friendships is tackled creatively in Bernadette in the Doghouse, and solutions that are crafted may resonate significantly with a young female readershipwho face similar problems. Bernadette in the Doghouse manages not to take itself too seriously while offering some serious food for thought, with cheery black and white pencil illustrations and positive believable action and exposition to balance the book.
Bernadette in the Doghouse is an all around winner, and readers will eagerly anticipate the third volume of the Lunch Bunch series.”
© 2011 Midwest Book Review
“Third-grader Bernadette Inez O’Brian Schwartz wants a puppy. As this installment opens, she and her friends offer to help an elderly woman who has a dog keep her yard neat and are invited back. Then the plot quickly focuses on winter vacation and the visit of Bernadette’s best friend, Jasmine, who has moved away. Predictably, Bernadette ignores her new friends, the Lunch Bunch, and alienates two of them when she declines their invitations. The girls are a comfy group, but the theme isn’t particularly fresh. The story comes full circle with Mrs. Marsh planting in the spring–and the birth of puppies. On the last page, Bernadette’s mother says “Maybe” to getting a dog. Black-and-white illustrations are scattered throughout. This is an accessible chapter book, but nothing sets it apart from other titles about girls and their friendships.
– School Library Journal 01/01/2012
“The second book in the Lunch Bunch series follows schoolgirl super-scientist Bernadette Inez O’Brian Schwartz into complicated territory. Instead of trying to solve a tricky experiment, she has to navigate the more complex terrain of friendship. Bernadette’s old best friend, Jasmine, has moved away, but she is returning for a visit during the winter holidays. Bernadette naturally wants her stay to be special. Jasmine camps out in Bernadette’s room for three days, they take a trip to the Science Centre, and they make ice cream the old-fashioned way with snow from the backyard.
The trouble is that Bernadette’s new crew, the Lunch Bunch, aren’t invited along. In fact, Bernadette won’t even return their calls while Jasmine is visiting. Once Jasmine returns home and school starts up again in January, Bernadette finds herself being left out. It takes an extra special Lunch Bunch strategy to show Keisha, Megan, and Annie how important they are to her.
Glickman develops Bernadette’s gang of girls a little further in this book, while maintaining the spirit of the original Lunch Bunch story. The focus is on Bernadette and Keisha’s relationship, but the other girls are given their moments in the spotlight as well:Annie proves to be a talented gymnast, and Megan shows an aptitude for helping others get along. As the girls work through the mire of school-age jealousies, they befriend an elderly neighbour and volunteer to help out with her garden.
The text is broken up by Melanie Allard’s engaging black-and-white illustrations — the inclusion of which is a solid technique to help younger readers bridge the gap between picture books and junior novels — and there’s enough in the way of science and recipes to keep fans of the first book interested in the series. “
© Quill & Quire , December, 2011
“What makes someone your best friend? In this sequel to Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch, a group of smart, clever third-grade girls try to figure it out. Bernadette and her friends have a great time playing together, doing projects, sharing Christmas and Hanukkah traditions, and organizing fun themed lunches. But when Jasmine, who used to live nearby, comes back to visit, Bernadette wants to spend all their time catching up, and her other friends feel left out. Now Bernadette is in the doghouse, and not just because she desperately wants a puppy. Susan Glickman presents a cast of likable, believable characters who discover together what it means to be a friend… the important message makes this book a valuable addition to most collections serving chapter book readers. Highly recommended for grades 2-5.”
– Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews, November/December 2011: Volume 1, No. 4
“Bernadette learns some valuable lessons about friends, old and new. A great gift for kids age 7-9 who are learning to understand how to handle themselves in the sometimes tricky realm of friendship.”
Open Book Toronto Holiday Book Guide 2011 (online)
“The best buds and pets themes are definitely in line with the interests of its intended Grade 3 readership.”
© Canadian Children’s Book News, Winter 2012
“Bernadette is a red headed vivacious, smart, investigative, and confident eight year old that loves animals and her friends. … Susan Glickman clearly demonstrates how an eight-year-old mind works with vibrancy, energy and heightened speed … This chapter book with a few black ink cartoon illustrations and a vibrant cover is sure to capture any eight to twelve year old confident, talented and curious girl’s heart.
– Resource Links 12/01/2011
“We were … reading a chapter book about a third grader named Bernadette who identifies herself as a young scientist – Bernadette in the Doghouse. The added complexity of this book was how much more complicated friendships are beginning to become for girls her age. Along with the world of science, these are deep waters to navigate. It was nice to have a story so Elizabeth understands that she is not alone when friend A says something bad about friend B or friend C says she doesn’t want to play with her today.
Here is to hoping that the coming new year is a time of wonderful discoveries in science and friendly friendship for girls (and boys) all over the world!”
RECOMMENDED BY THE CANADIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK CENTRE IN THEIR ANNUAL PUBLICATION, BEST BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS!
And don’t forget the first book in the series,
Bernadette and the Lunch Bunch!
ISBN 978-1-897186-51-7 only $6.95