Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute: 05/11/12
The most popular series at my children's school are Lunch Lady by Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. My son and daughter insisted that I read the first of the Lunch Lady books: Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute.
There's a new substitute for a teacher who has never missed a day. The Lunch Lady and her faithful assistant, Betty, immediately realize something is up. Using their secret gadgets and their own secret hideaway below the school, they set out to solve the mystery of his substitute.
The graphic novel is done in a style similar to the Babymouse books with mostly monochrome illustrations. Instead of pink, black and white, the lunch lady is rendered in yellow, gray and white. The artwork is visually appealing and the lettering is easy to read.
For my children (and I'll extrapolate out to children in general) the cafeteria themed gadgetry is the big draw. For instance: the Lunch Lady has a lap top hidden inside a lunch tray, and a Spatu-copter for flying. Whenever I talk to kids about the series, they always mention the gadgets first and the bad guys second.
For me, though, the gadgetry wasn't enough to distract me from a rather ho-hum plot. As it's only the first book, I will try the second book before I decide whether or not to continue.