Thursday 20 December 2012

Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich

Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich by Lorraine Francis and Pieter Gaudesaboos (Book Island)
HB RRP NZD $24.99
ISBN 9780987669605
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

A book about food - that got my attention! And this super-sized board book is bound to get the attention of young children with its roll call of everything that could possibly go into a sandwich. The fantastic thing is that Sammy includes them all!

Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich will appeal to a child's idea of the ridiculous about something so simple as making a sandwich. Mum and Dad react as if building a sandwich which goes through the roof  and is 'as tall as a skyscraper standing on another skyscraper's shoulders on top of the world's tallest mountain' is an everyday event. Lorraine Francis adds lovely touches of humour with passers-by such as a boy in a hot-air balloon and a man with a megaphone commenting on Sammy's efforts.

Pieter Gaudesaboos' funky illustrations will delight child and adult alike with their 1950s retro feel and rich colours. Each page is an artwork to be pored over with plenty of humour to be found in the illustrations as well. Sammy carts the food in a car and wagons; swings from a trapeze, and then later a crane, to reach the top; and uses the help of a remote control plane to continue adding to his creation.

This is a perfect picture book with the text and illustrations both adding to the telling of the story and the joy of its reading. Cleverly, Book Island has published Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich in a board book format for it is bound to be read and reread (and reread and reread) with plenty for even the youngest of children to relate to.

Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich was first published in Dutch in Belgium and has now been released in its original language by newly established independent New Zealand publisher, Book Island. Ann Packer, the children's book editor for the New Zealand Listener selected Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich for her list of 50 Best Children’s Books of 2012.

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