Marlu: The Mango Lunchkin
by SS Ravula

"Every Lunchkin is unique in their own special way. So are you."

Marlu, the Mango Lunchkin, enjoys running, playing, and chasing kites. He has a wonderful family and lives in the beautiful countryside of LunchkinLand but struggles with making friends. His mother is famous throughout the community for her amazing Kutrient and Kelement soup. Marlu gets to help Mommy Mango pick the herbs for the soup but still wishes he could find friends who would accept him simply for who he is. He finds comfort in his parents’ words and hopes of finding his magical powers soon so he can show all the other Lunchkins that he is capable of playing with them. When faced with the choice between action and complacency, Marlu encounters his biggest obstacle yet.

Ravula’s story takes a new approach to the traditional children’s storybook. Marlu tackles topics of bullying, mental health, and community all under the cute, whimsical concept of Lunchkinland. The messages throughout the story, although for very young children, are dealt with maturely and responsibly. On top of the social lessons, Ravula also provides a history and facts page about mangos. The section itself is informative and a great addition to get children interested in where food comes from as well as food history. It will be interesting to see in future tales of Lunchkinland if Ravula will use the different Lunchkins as topics for this section. Overall, this is a lighthearted and positive story that encompasses kindness, community, and uniqueness. Using fruits and vegetables as characters make them both cute and informative. Hopefully, there will be many more Lunchkinland adventures.

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