Sharing the joy of children’s books

Sam’s Sandwich

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We are delighted to welcome another guest reviewer to the Gobblefunked family in the form of Jean Burke, who is here to tell us all about a book that has survived two generations of her family and is still going strong!

Sams's SandwichHow can a book about a sandwich be so appealing? Well, by adding a mischievous little brother to the mix of course.

Sam is helping his big sister to create the tastiest sandwich. But she is unaware of the ‘special’ ingredients that he is adding while she is drooling over the next food. What ensues is a hilarious build up to a ‘delicious’ sandwich and an unknowing ‘victim; that has children on the edge of their seats, waiting. Waiting for what Sam will plant next in between those slices of bread. Waiting for that first disgusting bite to take place.

Maybe it is the mischievous nature of the lead character. Maybe it is the fact that we all have a secret want of revenge on a sibling. Maybe it is the way the book changes to look like a sandwich (which many have tried to sink their teeth into!) Whatever the reason, this book has a lot to offer. Rhyming, creepy crawlies, comedy, food education, colour, and a good old splash of revenge. With fold-out-flaps to add to the suspense this book has it all.

The discussions that follow this book add to the enjoyment. Each group reading I was lucky enough to be a part of – as a crèche teacher, a nanny, a sister, an auntie and now finally a mother – led to the exploration of insects in the garden, talks on how vegetables grow and growing their own, confessions of pranks played or wishful thinking. This book gets children talking and peaks their interest in a multitude of things.

I even remember my mother divulging details of pranks her siblings played after reading this to us for possibly the 100th time. This was when I realised my mother had a life before us! It opened up a new world for us. A world where our mother shared stories of her youth that she and I now both share with her grandchildren. This is not just a book; this is a tradition. One that I hope continues.

I have worked in childcare for a number of years but this book was introduced to me as a child when my little sister received it from our mother to add to our already bulging bookcase. With a six year age gap between us, you would not expect a book to be liked by both of us, but in fact we loved it. As did our three other siblings – all of whom are older than the little sister this book was originally intended for.

Over the years I have read this book to so many children of different ages and I have yet to meet a child that did not want to read it again. Never have I read a book to so many children that is always met with the same amount of shock and laughter.

My nieces and nephews have now been introduced to this book and once again it is a family favourite amongst all ages. What strikes me though is the reaction from each of my siblings when I pull this book out from my collection.

My own son, who is only a year old, has already taken a shine to the colourful pages and song-like rhyming. He gets great fun out of lifting the flaps to reveal the creepy crawlies and I am guessing that this will become a firm favourite of his once he understands the context too. Although I don’t know if I can part with my copy! He may have to get his own.

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About the author

Jean Burke

Jean Burke is an experienced nanny who started her childcare career as a crèche teacher. She is mother to a little boy, named Harvey, who is already sharing her passion for books … or as he calls them ‘boous’.

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