A simple popular rhyme about that childhood culinary favorite, peanut butter and jelly, becomes rich fare indeed in this buoyant picture book. Chantlike verses set forth the making of a sandwich from start to finisha process that is imaginatively extended through Westcott's talent for the comically outsized and absurd. Her chefstwo hungry children, an energetic dog and cat, five exuberant elephants and one jolly adultconstruct a sandwich like no other. Their bread is so enormous that a saw is required to slice it; their jelly comes from a bathtubful of grapes stamped and squashed to the desired consistency by elephants. This fully satisfying treat is completed with one page of clapping patterns, as well as hand and foot motions to accompany the rhymes. Ages 2-5. (September)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 A peanut butter and jelly sandwich a la Westcott. With the help of elephants and a baker, two children create a table-size sandwich from scratch. First, the bread is kneaded, baked, and sliced. Then from beneath the kitchen table emerge five elephants, each armed with a bag of peanuts that they stomp into peanut butter. Next, on to the bathtub filled with grapes which are squashed into jelly. The result of this festive cooperative endeavor is a giant ``p & j'' sandwich consumed by all. The rhythmic text is a traditional song; it is made all the more delightful with Westcott's watercolor illustrations in pastels and muted tints. They fill double-page spreads but are not cluttered. Each scene prompts giggles and is enhanced by the sideline actions of a pet cat who looks shocked by the entire escapade, a dog who licks his chops in anticipation of snatching a morsel, and finally, the mother who faints in the kitchen doorway after witnessing the crowd. The book's large, humorous, colorful spreads make it conducive for group sharing. Instructions for the accompanying hand and foot motions are appended. A real treasure with potential use in any library's programming, especially storytimes. Mary Beth Burgoyne, Mesa Public Library, Ariz.