Thursday, 7 November 2013

Blog Tour: Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich by Lorraine Francis & Pieter Gaudesaboos (Children's, Picture Book, 9/10E) review + 2 Guest Blog Posts!

 1st November 2013, Book Island, 16 pages, Hardback, Review copy

Themes: what can go in a sandwich, preparing food, being creative, having fun

Content: lots of humour,

Summary from Book Island
Sammie is a little boy with a huge appetite. The enterprising toddler feels like eating the biggest, tallest sandwich in the world, so he pulls out all the stops. The sandwich soon grows taller than he is, but fortunately there’s a ladder. Sammie saws holes through the ceilings and carries on stacking his sandwich. He can make it even higher by going through the skylight, and with the help of a crane he’s able to top off this creation with an olive and a sprig of parsley. And then ... 

Nayuleska's thoughts 
Apart from one page where I didn't quite understand what the illustration meant, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sammy's tale. I like the simplicity in the background which contrasts with the giant feat Sammy is attempting as well as the dozens and dozens of sandwich filling combinations. I really liked the first few pages which display every single ingredient mentioned on those pages. Keep an eye out for the bird which escapes from his cage!

People's reactions to Sammy's sandwich were fun to read, especially his parents! I couldn't quite believe what happened at the end- totally unexpected but very appropriate action for Sammy. I'm pretty glad my sandwiches are a lot smaller than Sammy's-they are quicker to make and eat!

Suggested read
For more food themed reads check out Spaghetti With The Yeti by Adam & Charlotte Guillain and Lee Wildish (Children's, Picture Book, 10/10E)

Book Island is a New Zealand publisher, and it's truly been great fun participating in this blog tour - here's what both Lorraine and Pieter would like in their sandwich on a desert island! 

Desert Island Sandwiches Guest Blog Post
The start of Sammy's story...

“There is an art to the business of making sandwiches which it is given to few ever to find the time to explore in depth. It is a simple task, but the opportunities for satisfaction are many and profound.” ― Douglas Adams, The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story

When Lorraine Francis and Pieter Gaudesaboos met, it sparked a creative maelstrom and Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich was born. Published by Book Island, this celebration of a child’s imagination follows the story of Sammy, an enterprising young toddler, who decides to make a sandwich that reaches epic proportions! Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich was launched in the UK this week and Book Island are celebrating the humble sandwich all this week… In today’s post, we’re revealing the sandwich that the inventive folk behind the book would take to a desert island… Just don’t read on an empty stomach!

Lorraine Francis, author of Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich, shares her choice “writing a children's book about a sky high sandwich with lots of delicious fillings whets the appetite. But dragging myself away from the keyboard to make a snack can be a problem if I don't want to interrupt the flow. So my desert island sandwich, the one that keeps me going to the last page, would have to be grilled chicken with pesto. It can be made in advance; it doesn't get soggy ; and it Pieter Gaudesaboos, the illustrator behind Sammy, loves melted cheese, so would pack up the following ingredients; tomatoes, fresh herbs, 4 different kinds of cheese and a sprinkling of nuts. Then it’s off to the grill or a makeshift BBQ on the beach for this desert island castaway…

Finally, we asked Greet Pauwelijn, M.D. of Book Island for her favourite… “my favourite sandwich filling might sound a bit weird to you. I think sandwiches with a slice of cheese and some chocolate spread or jam on top are delicious. I also love to spread cold butter on a slice of wholemeal bread and put a gingerbread biscuit (called 'speculoos' in Dutch, my native language) or a cold, thin slice of delicious Belgian chocolate in between the sandwich. I know, we Belgians have a funny taste!”

Hmm, which one would you choose?

Nayu: I quite like Pieter's, although I prefer my favourite sandwich of egg mixed with onion, spring onion (or any onion) and cucumber on granery bread! What's yours? 

While you think on your favourite sandwich, check out Lorraine's post about where she gets inspiration from. 

Small Worlds by Lorraine Francis


I’ve always been fascinated by miniatures. The miniature is not to be confused with the merely small. Tiny things like a grain of sand, an ant, or a raindrop don’t cast a spell the way a tiny replica of something
does. When I was a young child I had a problem with one of my eyes and regularly had to visit a specialist. His name was Dr Werner and he had a collection of clockwork toys that he’d wind up to put me at ease.

Ever since, I’ve been fascinated by models and automata, which is probably why I love  Russell Hoban’s book The mouse and his child. Hoban claims that ‘the nature of clockwork toys is that they’re very provocative of thought’
and are ‘a very powerful metaphor.’ The mouse says to his father, ‘Maybe we shan’t always be helpless Papa’ . . . ‘maybe we’ll be self-winding someday’. This in fact is the story of childhood: children want
to grow up and be independent. It’s also the story of the human condition. People want to lead more authentic, less mechanical lives.

Doll houses have a similar enchantment for me so it’s no surprise that another of my favourite children’s books is The Doll’s House by Rumer Godden. Apart from being a story of a doll house it’s also a meditation on imagination. The story concerns two sisters who inherit an antique dolls house containing a doll family. The younger sister is firmly convinced that the dolls have lives and feelings and that they, the girls, function as arbitrary gods; the elder sister dismisses the notion as a childish fantasy. Which possibility is more exciting — or alarming —remains an open question. As Rumer Godden saw it, dollhouses were something of the human predicament in miniature, writing, “It is an anxious, sometimes a dangerous thing to be a doll. Dolls cannot choose; they can only be chosen; they
cannot ‘do’; they can only be done by.”

But some of the best books for children have featured children encountering miniature human beings. I never tire of reading Mary Norton’s Borrowers stories, and  Diane Stanley’s black and white illustrations of the Clock family in their home behind the wainscoting (lovely word!) furnished from their borrowed bits and bobs are perfectly tuned to the spirit of the text. Apart from being a wish-fulfillment fantasy where small beings prevail over insurmountable odds, it’s also a coming-of-age both for the Boy who protects Arrietty and her family from the outside world, and for Arrietty herself as she finds independence.

Books with a similar theme include The indian in the cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks The twelve and the Genii by Pauline Clarke Mistress Masham’s Repose by T.H. White And of course Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Discover the wonderful miniatures and automata of St. Leger.

Finally, a note on the miniature birdcage in the photo - at one stage I entertained the notion of setting up a business making doll house accessories. I made the cage using the wirehood from a champagne cork and the blue bird inside it from Fimo clay. But like many of my whims it never got off the ground. And for those who like to impress their friends with their superior vocabulary, the official name for the wirehood is a ‘muselet.’

Thank you both Pieter, Lorraine & Greet for exciting guest posts - I hope you've enjoyed reading them and are now hungering for a sandwich!

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