The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord & Janet Burroway

The Giant Jam Sandwich was one of my favourite childhood stories, there was a copy in my infant school classroom and a copy in my book corner when I started teaching. I lent my copy to a friend but I didn’t get it back so when we saw it in a bookshop in the summer I immediately bought it. It’s interesting reading it nearly fifty years after it was published – times have definitely changed!

The Story: Four million wasps fly into Itching Down and terrorise the villagers. Bap the Baker comes up with an idea to trap the wasps in a giant jam sandwich. It’s a huge team effort with farmers, factory workers and villagers making and transporting the sandwich. And then they wait for the wasps to come…

The Giant Jam Sandwich is the story of teamwork and ingenuity in the face of adversity. Bap the Baker’s suggestion is ambitious and transporting the large loaf from the bakery to an old mill to bake it is a challenge, as is cutting it once it has cooled. But the wasps won’t go away so they take the bread to Farmer Seed’s field.

One of our favourite illustrations shows the villagers spreading butter and jam on the bread before the wasps arrive. And when the wasps smell the jam there are flying machines (including Farmer Seed’s tractor!) waiting to finish making the sandwich…

The Giant Jam Sandwich has an easy to read rhyming text and fabulous vintage illustrations which are full of detail. The concept is humorous and as a child I was fascinated by the idea of such a huge loaf of bread being baked and used to make an enormous sandwich.

Age Range: 3 +

Author / Illustrator: John Vernon Lord / Verses: Janet Burroway

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