Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Literary Sandwiches

When actors or other celebrities write books for children, they’re usually too wordy, contain uninteresting plots, or use characters to talk down to readers. However, the average kid despises books that whack him or her over the head with heavy moralistic lessons. We are no longer in the 19th century! In my theory, all books teach something – even if it’s encouraging pure silliness or thinking way out of the box. The mark of a great picturebook is when non-extraneous text works WITH illustrations to tell an unforgettable story. Read your kids a real Story and see their analytical skills grow. You may be surprised at how much more kids are willing to read and learn when they are able to relate the book to their own life and experiences. Reading puts us into someone else’s shoes for a while and is really our only chance at getting into someone else’s head. When interrupted by an intrusive narrator’s comments, it ruins the effect.

The Sandwich Swap, by Queen Rania AlAbdullah, the queen of Jordan, is nothing like the stereotypical celebrity book. As a matter of fact, The Sandwich Swap is the best new picturebook this year I’ve seen to hit the shelves. AlAbdullah, along with co-author Kelly DiPucchio, tells the story of Salma and Lily to show how differences can lead to a room full of flying pudding cups and shame OR a scrumptious feast filled with smiles and laughter. Tricia Tusa’s vibrant illustrations work fabulously with the text to reveal a great story of acceptance and difference (well, those are the themes I saw, how about you? Friendship? Acceptance? Problem solving?). So what’s the synopsis of this book? I’ll just tell you that it begins with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and ends with a hummus sandwich.


kelly dipucchio said...

What a terrific review of THE SANDWICH SWAP! Thank you. I'd just like to add that Queen Rania is just as lovely and as gracious in person as she is on television. She sincerely wants to make a positive difference in this world and she works tirelessly on behalf of ALL children all over the globe.

It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of this special book.
Thank you for recognizing our efforts to create a book that was both thought-provoking and kid-friendly.

kelly dipucchio

Emily said...

Thank you! It is a joy to recommend your book to customers.