Story & Pictures: John Vernon Lord Verses: Janet Burroway
Publishers: Houghton Mifflin Company
I grabbed The Giant Jam Sandwich off the library shelf as soon as I saw it because I had such fond memories of reading it in class with my kindergarteners. Happily my children loved the book as well.
The Giant Jam Sandwich has such a nice plot. Something out of the ordinary, something that can only be unreal happens to a very ordinary village. The village of Itching Down is attacked by four million wasps (gasp!) and the villagers just can’t get rid of them. At the town hall meeting, the mayor asks for suggestions and only the baker makes a suggestion that seems too strange but the villagers give it a try anyway.
The story is a wonderful example of how people work cooperatively to solve their problems. At every stage, the villagers have to work together—to slice the bread, spreading the butter and jam, and dropping the slice of bread from the helicopters.
My kids at home and those from school were amused by how the villagers solved the problem. It is quite like one of those tall tales we make up for kids, but the illustrations make the story come alive.
The villagers have scaffolding next to the giant loaf of bread, the jam is transported in a truck and a flock of birds fly away with the giant jam sandwich!
The verses in the book are easy to follow and yet the Giant Jam Sandwich has a very diverse vocabulary for kindergarten and elementary kids. The book lends itself to many other activities both in the classroom and at home. You can work on sequencing events from the book and try hands-on activities like baking a loaf of bread.
Here’s a very nice read aloud from youtube: