Book Review: The Sandwich Swap

Authors: Queen Rainia Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrator: Tricia Tusa
Book Website: The Sandwich Swap
Interest Level: Ages 4 and Up

From The Book Jacket: Lily and Salma are best friends. They like doing all the same things - jumping rope, drawing pictures, playing on the swings. And they always eat lunch together. Sure, they don't eat the same lunch. Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummus - but what's that between friends? It turns out, a lot. And before they know it, it's a food fight. Can Lily and Salma put aside their differences and save their friendship? Or will a sandwich come between them?

Her Majesty Queen Rania and bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio tell a story inspired by her Majesty's own childhood. Salma and Lily reach the true spirit of tolerance and acceptance. The smallest things can pull us apart - until we learn that friendship is far more powerful than difference.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Awards should be plastered all over this book's cover. Which by the way, is the most darling cover I have just about ever seen. The students took one look at The Sandwich Swap and said, "Read us that one!!" Sometimes I bring in a few books to each of my lessons to give them a preview of next weeks story. Even in the hallway, a second grade student said to me, "When are you going to read us The Sandwich Swap?" Apparently, they can sniff out a good book just by it's cover. But this is more then good, it is GREAT.

The lessons learned by both girls in the story is EXACTLY the kind of message students need to hear. Working in a culturally diverse school I know students have many curiosities about one another. But sometimes, those curiosities can sadly turn into put-downs towards one another. It divides everyone which is what happens in the story. Just look around the world, it's pretty obvious we need to start these conversations and teachings early in life. A first grade student said, "I hope everyone goes to multi-cultural night tomorrow to make more friends!" The lovely 'pot-luck' ending will make you think about what your own school is doing to help promote cultural diversity.

The Sandwich Swap is a wonderful reminder and encourager to embrace and appreciate other's differences. It's amazing how a book can increase awareness, sensitivity, and open hearts and minds. This was an impactful read and there is no doubt it has helped increased my school climate. The students clapped as I finished reading the last page. Clapping for diversity! Love it.

A Link to This Book and Others You Might Find Helpful:


  1. Wow, what a lovely review, Roxanne!
    Thank you!

  2. @Kelly This book is easily in my top 10 favorite books for friendship, differences, and embracing diversity. ALL school counselors and teachers need this one! and parents too!