Sam's Sandwich - a childrens classic books review
Title: Sam’s Sandwich
Author: David Pelham
Illustrator: David Pelham
Age level: 3 and up
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: Cardboard cover pop-up book
Availability: editions available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
When Samantha needs a really special treat to munch on, her devious brother Sam knows just what to make: a sandwich with everything on it. A sandwich-shaped, foldout book, Sam's Sandwich invites young readers to peel back the lettuce, tomato, and other ingredients to discover Sam's rhyming, crawling surprises.
This is a book my oldest son was given when he was four years old and one that I have read to all four of my children over the years.
Sam's Sandwich tells the story of Samantha who wants something to eat and turns to her brother, Sam, for help in constructing a sandwich of delicious proportions. Sam, however, takes advantage of his sister’s trust to put in some quite non-traditional treats while her back is turned. Among these yum-yums are flies, worms and snails.
This is an easy-to-read story and written in simple rhythmic verse. The words aren’t too big for young children and the illustrations are whimsical, especially the contrast of facial features between the trusting Samantha and the devilish Sam. Sam isn’t really mean, he’s just a brother doing what brothers can do best. But his sly smile does remind me of Damien from The Omen films, which adds to my adult amusement with the story.
The book also sports pop-up pages that reveal Sam’s added ingredients as the story progresses. My son and his three siblings enjoyed taking turns flipping the pop-ups over, always in giggling anticipation. I found that reading the book to them as if I personally expected to find something tasty -but then pretended to be shocked- adds to the fun of revealing the ingredients.
Sam’s Sandwich is a delightfully funny tale with a refreshing lack of attempted moralizing. If there is a lesson to be found here it is how to laugh at sibling rivalry..and maybe, too, that we should never turn a back on an eagerly helpful little brother! Children will be sure to enjoy this one immensely and so will their parents.
This Hubpages review ©May 8, 2012 by Beth Perry