For our first featured book of 2017, I can’t think of a better message than The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan.The Sandwich Swap focuses on school aged friends Lily and Salma. Everyday for lunch Lily brings a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while Salma brings a pita filled with hummus. Internally, the girls judge each other’s lunch, noting how different it looks than the one their mothers pack for them. Different can’t be good right?
Finally, one day, Lily tells Salma how yucky her pita sandwich is. Salma lets her friend know that it’s actually Lily’s sandwich that is gross. They hurt each other’ feelings over their differences and in turn stop being friends.
Eventually, the fight culminates in classmates picking sides and calling names to the point of a food fight breaking out. This is when the principle intervenes and has the girls try each others cultures.
During this tumultuous time in our history, where it seems that people are more than eager to discriminate and divide, this book seems especially fitting.
We are different, but different doesn’t mean bad. In fact, allowing ourselves to open up to other cultures can enhance our lives, it can broaden our horizons.
That is the eventual lesson in The Sandwich Swap, as all the kids learn about each other’s backgrounds through celebration and food.
Previous Posts in our From the Shelf Series:
- I Wish You More
- The Peace Book
- Color Our World
- The Story of Ferdinand
- And Tango Makes Three
- Ordinary People Change the World Series
- Beautiful Moon A Child’s Prayer
- Book Recommendation Introduction