THE SANDWICH SWAP by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah with Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Tricia Tusa (Disney Hyperion Books, 2010, 16.99) is a delightful picture book inspired by Queen Rania’s childhood.
Lily and Salma are childhood friends who do everything together. All school activities are shared and enjoyed every day. They always eat lunch together. However, they each different lunches. Lily always favored a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while Salma enjoyed a hummus and pita sandwich. Each of the girls thought the other’s sandwich looked rather yucky. For the first time the girls did not eat lunch together. The next day insults flew around the lunchroom. Soon the insults had nothing to do with the food but became something “not so nice to say to the other.” The end result was a food fight.
The girls have to help clean up. Next day they join each other at lunch and decide to try each others’ lunch. Surprisingly each enjoyed the different foods. They arranged a food festival for the entire school where different foodstuffs were offered. Thus Lily and Salma teach the true spirit of tolerance and acceptance.
A happening when the queen was a youngster inspired the story and multi-talented Tricia Tusa brought it gloriously to life. Her lively colorful expressive artwork truly makes the story breathe. The faces of the children are simply special. And the lunchroom scenes are to be treasured. How well I remember those days of Lunch Duty!! This is a real treat to be savored and enjoyed by young and old.