The Giant Jam Sandwich
story and pictures by John Vernon Lord
verses by Janet Burroway
Houghton Mifflin, 1975
If your library doesn't have an online "on hold" mechanism, you should really drop them a line and tell them to get with the program. I love browsing the shelves at our gorgeous Landa Library, but when you are in want of something specific, I hate looking it up only to find out it is across town at another branch. The San Antonio Library system allows you to log on and place a book on hold and pick which location you want the book delivered to. It's awesome. CDs... movies... books. When I hear about a book that intrigues me that I have to see right now, I used to log on and buy it no matter what the cost, but far too many times I ended up with books my son didn't really like. Since times are tight and the economy is in a shambles, I've been more selective about my online purchases, and have been using the library hold system whenever I can. Then, once we've had a chance to get to know each other better, I can make my purchase.Which brings me to the review today, one of a handful I ordered online this week. Probably more than any other book, The Giant Jam Sandwich gets suggested to me the most. It seems everyone has fond memories of the town that build a huge "and J" to control its wasp population. I didn't recognize it from the title, but once I saw the drawings, I do have vague memories of reading this book at the library when I was wee. And all I can say is, wow.
One hot summer in Itching Down,
Four million wasps flew into town.
They drove the picnickers away,
They chased the farmers from their hay,
They stung Lord Swell on fit fat bald pate,
They dived and hummed and buzzed and ate,
And the noisy, nasty nuisance grew
Till the villagers cried, "What can we do?"
The villagers do the only logical thing they can do and make a giant jam sandwich from scratch with which to lure and ultimately capture the offending creatures. My son thinks the whole thing is hysterical and particular loves the end when the sandwich is carted off by (of course) a flock of hungry birds. I'm not sure why it took me so long to look this one up, but now that I've seen it, I'm off to purchase a copy of my very own, for sure. Having been in print for more than 30 years, it shouldn't be too hard to find.