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The Sandwich Swap    by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah & Kelly DiPucchio order for
Sandwich Swap
by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

My friend Salma and I love to draw pictures together, play on the swings at school, and jump rope. At lunchtime we always eat at the same table. From time to time I look at what Salma is eating and I feel sorry for her. Every day she brings a pita sandwich with icky chickpea paste spread all over it.

Now, my mom makes me a killer peanut butter and jelly sandwich which is to die for. I feel sorry that poor Salma has to choke down that stuff her mom makes.

One day I just could not keep my big mouth shut and I said to my friend, 'Your sandwich looks kind of yucky.' Boy, oh boy, did I make a mistake!

Salma came right back at me with, 'Yeah, well your sandwich looks gross, and it smells bad too!'

Oops! Before you could say, 'Pass the mayonnaise', Salma and I were having an argument. Even worse, it didn't take long before we had all our friends involved and everyone took sides. The disparaging comments shot back and forth at lunch time. 'Peanut butter breath!' 'Chickpea brains!' 'Jelly heads!' 'Garlic breath!'

Then it got even worse with rude insults like - 'You look funny!' and 'You dress dumb!' Everyone got into the fray, which finally ended one day in a big-time food fight in the lunchroom. Boy, what a mess!

Salma and I ended up in the principal's office and had some major explaining to do. Afterwards we sat down together and discussed the whole sorry situation. I asked Salma if she'd like to try my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and she said, 'Sure. Why not? Would you like to try my hummus and pita?'

On the count of three we exchanged and guess what? Yup! We both discovered we liked the other girl's sandwich. That got us thinking and we came up with a super way of reuniting all our friends and getting everything at school back to the way it was before the great sandwich war!

You'll have to read my picture book to see what we came up with, but it was really a cool idea and everyone loved it. Well, there are no more food fights or rude comments flying around the school now and everything is back to normal.

If you are four or older, I think you'll really like this story. You'll also learn that stupid, silly little things or differences can really ruin a friendship if you are not careful what you say. Also, sometimes it is a good idea to try something or put yourself in the other person's shoes before you shoot your mouth off and criticize what he or she eats, wears, or how he or she does something!

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