Children's Book of the Week: The Giant Jam Sandwich

by | Oct 28, 2008 | Children's Book of the Week | 4 comments

The Giant Jam Sandwich, story and pictures by John Vernon Lord, verse by Janet Burroway

I had this book when I was a kid, and I adored it. It’s about a town with a serious wasp infestation and their decision to get rid of the wasps by trapping them in a…well, in a giant jam sandwich. I think it seemed fairly plausible to me when I was little. And I remember loving the pictures, especially the ones of the giant loaf of bread.

After Henry was born, I discovered my childhood copy in a box of books, and I was so excited to read it again. I have to say I think I love it even more as an adult. Honestly, I think this is just about as perfect as you can get in a children’s book and not be Frances or Winnie the Pooh. The verses are exactly right, funny and rhythmic and charming and with excellent rhymes the whole time. I’m always impressed when verses in children’s books can tell a story in rhyme and never have any sort of awkward sentence structure. The pictures are colorful and funky and detailed. Henry and Eli adore this book as much as I did and do. It rarely lives on the bookshelf because it is in such constant roation. It’s very memorizable and great fun to spout off snippets of it when the conversation turns to bread, jam, sandwiches, wasps, farmers, or fields.

I am so psyched that this book is still in print (unlike my other favorite of the same era, Dooly and the Snortsnoot). If you’ve never read this before, go find it immediately and read it out loud today. You won’t be sorry.


  1. Sarah

    check out
    “bats at the library” by brian lies – it’s our new favorite, really we written & illustrated. and jaya is really into bats right now.

  2. Julie

    I saw some really good reviews of “Bats at the Library,” and it sounded right up our alley. I’ll check it out, thanks!

  3. Kate

    I LOVED that book and I remember reading it at your house when we were little. I’m so glad you found it. I’m going to see if it’s at the library as soon as I finish catching up on your site!

  4. Julie

    I was wondering if you’d remember it, Kate! It’ll be just as good as you remember it.


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