Children are, at once, natural simplifiers and complete over-complicaters, so books like this charming title are totally up their alley, as our anthropomorphic cast uses the power of teamwork to make sure that they’re all fed and happy.
Bambi Edlund opens her picture book with a list of all the things you’ll need to make a peanut butter sandwich, including assorted animals, fruit that may or may not end up in the final product, and a bunch of seemingly unrelated items such as a fallen log and a set of dancing clogs. Seventeen might sound like a lot of steps, but that number provides a strong hook for young readers, who will want to know what could possibly be so complicated about something as simple as making a peanut butter sandwich?
Ms Edlund answers that question with aplomb, satisfying both animal lovers and fans of Rube Goldberg-like machinations. My middle child had great fun reading this book with me, with his favorite part being how the animals were all well-rewarded for their hard work in the end. My eldest child was inspired by our reading to start making his own list of how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, enlisting aforementioned middle child in pretend labors as they exercised both imagination and logic while playing nicely together.
The cartoony illustrations throughout are a delight, with a diverse cast of both the animal crew and the humans they must interact with in their quest for peanut butter sandwiches. Ms Edlund is great at capturing expressions and depicting joy on each page. My kids and I thoroughly enjoyed this quick, fun and surprisingly inspirational read.
How To Make A Peanut Butter Sandwich In 17 Easy Steps by Bambi Edlund was published September 12 2023 by Owlkids and is available from all good booksellers, including