The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord, illustrated by Janet Burroway

The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord, illustrated by Janet Burroway
Original Copy from my childhood
Review Copy of the Board Book Edition from Houghton Mifflin
Originally published in 1972 and newly available in a large trim size board book, The Giant Jam Sandwich is a picture book from my childhood that I never forgot. This is probably because, not only is this a book about food, it's a book about GIANT food. That said, Lord's story is a masterpiece of rhyme and creative cleverness that clearly has staying power almost fifty years after making its debut. 
The Giant Jam Sandwich begins, "One hot summer in Itching Down, Four million wasps flew into town." The frustrated villagers come together at a town meeting to find a solution, with the baker suggesting they trap them inside a giant jam sandwich, since that is what wasps love to eat. 


Besides the giant food, I love (as a child and adult) the coming together and collaboration of the villagers of Itching Down and the inventiveness they show when making a giant loaf of bread, a truckload of jam and, of course, a giant tablecloth to put the sandwich on before the trapping happens. After all, even if it is a device for trapping bugs, it would be uncivilized to put the sandwich right on the ground...

How the villagers bake and then slice the bread and assemble the sandwich-trap is actually even more fun than the idea of a giant jam sandwich itself. There are some cool uses of tractors and helicopters, equally unforgettable, as the trapping goes down. Best of all, the final stanza of the book lets readers know exactly what became of that giant jam and wasp sandwich! A classic picture book that still engages, entertains and makes kids think!

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