Picture Book Nook: Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich by Lorraine Francis

Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich is one of the first three titles from new local publisher, Book Island.  The books will be launched on Sunday 11 November at Raumati South Memorial Hall on the Kapiti Coast.

Sammy is a little boy with a huge appetite. The enterprising toddler feels like eating the biggest, tallest sandwich in the world, so he pulls out all the stops. The sandwich soon grows taller than he is, but fortunately there’s a ladder. Sammy saws holes through the ceilings and carries on stacking his sandwich. He can make it even higher by going through the skylight, and with the help of a crane he’s able to top off this creation with an olive and a sprig of parsley. And then … Sammy feels like having a banana.

Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich is a picture book bursting with imagination (and sandwich ingredients).  Lorraine Francis’ story is simple and one that kids can relate to, but it also fires their imagination.  It gets you thinking about what ingredients you would use if you were making the world’s biggest sandwich and how tall you would be able to make it without it falling down. You could have a great discussion about whether or not the different ingredients in Sammy’s sandwich would go together well.

Pieter Gaudesaboos’ illustrations are a visual delight.  There is so much to look at on each page, from different types of food to the weird and wonderful objects in Sammy’s attic. The page where Sammy lays out all the ingredients for his sandwich makes my mouth water so you probably shouldn’t read this book when you’re hungry.  I really like all the contraptions that Pieter has created for Sammy to help him build his monstrous sandwich, like his remote control aeroplane for spreading the bread, the fishing line for adding sprinkles to the top, and his crane to help him finish it all off.  My favourite illustration is right at the end when we see the sandwich from bottom to top, and I’m sure children will gaze at it in wonder.  I love the design of the book too, because it’s big and has sturdy cardboard pages.  It isn’t really a board book though (in the traditional sense) because the story is aimed at preschoolers.

Both parents and children will love the ending and will want to go and help Sammy build another skyscraper sandwich.  Grab a copy of Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich from your library or bookshop.