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The Giant Jam Sandwich

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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  1,210 ratings  ·  118 reviews
It's a dark day for Itching Down. Four million wasps have just descended on the town, and the pests are relentless! What can be done? Bap the Baker has a crazy idea that just might work . . .

Young readers will love this lyrical, rhyming text as they watch the industrious citizens of Itching Down knead, bake, and slather the biggest wasp trap there ever was! John Vernon Lor...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 27th 1987 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1972)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
446th out of 3,050 books — 4,511 voters
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Food-Related Fiction
137th out of 334 books — 424 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,663)
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Joel
As a kid, I was pretty much fascinated with any book that had giant, colorful pictures of food, so it only makes sense that my two favorites were Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and this, The Giant Jam Sandwich. Despite the more varied foodstuffs on display in the former, I have to give the edge to the latter, because it actually showed people making the giant food instead of just being pelted with it from above. Kids like to know the process, I guess.

So the idea here is that all these wasps h...more
Kate Sarkar
One hot summer, the poor villagers of Itching down are bombarded with wasps. Three million to be precise. These pesky stingers wreak havoc in the town, until something has to be done….. It is decided that a giant jam sandwich be constructed, to lure and trap the naughty nuisances in. This, however proves to be no mean feat. The villagers must all take part at various stages to pull the plan off successfully. Mayor Muddlenut gathers suggestions, Baker Bap orders the making of the bread, Farmer Se...more
Linda
Welcome to Itching Down.
take a journey to a flustered town.

The citizens have a problem:
little wasps swarm everywhere.
So the people decide to build a sandwich
that will rid these bugs from their hair.

The loaf of bread is huge.
The jam is sticky and sweet.
The insects saw a banquet
and landed on it with their feet.

And splat!

Three survived and took off for who-knows-where,
but the people no longer care.
So welcome to Itching Down.
A now very happy town.
Carly
Aug 04, 2007 Carly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE ON EARTH
This is seriously one of the best books ever. I read it while I was visiting the Museum of Play with Rup in Rochester, and the title caught my eye. It is FANTASTIC. It's a picture book that tells the story of a bunch of townspeople who have a problem with something like four million wasps, and one brilliant person has the idea of producing a giant jam sandwich to trap all the wasps. Could there possibly be a better idea for a book???? I don't think so. Winner.
Shelley
If I had to choose on of my favorite books growing up, this one would be in the top 5. I remember pulling it off the shelf and noticing the edges were a little worn and the spine was a little loose. This is a great story about all the people pulling together to make a GIANT jam sandwich to trap the nasty wasps that were terrorizing them. They could not fix the problem one man alone but together, they were able to bake a huge loaf of bread. Together they were able to churn a massive amount of but...more
Connie
There's not much to say that hasn't been said. A zillion and a half wasps invade the town of Itching Downs (really, with a name like that, what do you expect? So it's not a waspish sort of town, the wopsies clearly think it is!), and, having apparently depleted the options of "evacuate" and "wait for the first killing frost" and "use up our hoarded stores of illegal DDT" the townspeople decide to get rid of the wasps with - get this - a GIANT JAM SANDWICH. (You didn't see that one coming, did yo...more
Duncan Wilson
A brilliant childrens book that is still a lot of fun today.
I remember borrowing this book from my local library when i was small during one fo their summer reads. bearing in mind that was back when we had little card holders and proper date stamping :D
nice rhymes and funny picture amke this a great picture book that i am sure children will still
enjoy today
Jennifer
Apparently this book has been around longer than I have, but it took me this long to find it! This is a terrific childrens book! It was enjoyable for me, at least as much as it was for my kids when we read it together (maybe more!). The rhyming couplets are fantastic, the meter is perfect and the words trip right off your tongue when read aloud. The story is fantastical - wasps invade the town and the only way to get rid of them is to trap them in a GIANT JAM SANDWICH! - of course! The images an...more
Tracy
"An oldie but a goodie." Good for asking questions and making predictions...how will they catch the wasps? How will they make a sandwich big enough? Will it work? What will happen to the sandwich after they catch the wasps? I actually learned a new vocabulary word from this book. It was a good opportunity to teach Mackenzie how to use the context and the pictures to figure out a word we didn't know. Plua a good discussion of how to look words up in a dictionary. The word was "pate" which is the...more
Bunnyjadwiga
This tall tale with its detailed illustrations has weathered the years well. The idea of making a giant jam sandwich to capture and dispose of wasps is still charming and the makeshift equipment still funny to my five year old.
Kimberly Rae
This is a favorite from childhood. I just got a copy and my kids love it now, too.
Anne
The town of Itching Downs...it's that delightful musical word use that makes this my all time favorite children's book! The colorful prose is only bolstered by the whimsical arwhork in this book. I just recently retold this story to a friend's daughter as we watched a few pesky wasps while on vacation. The story is simple and practical, and yet seems impossible and amazing as a child! It was such a part of my childhood memories, that I searched out two copies for my sons ( it is out of print). I...more
Bethany
This was one Scott read as a kid and shared with our kids.
Dolly
Mar 22, 2010 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2010, childrens, favorites
I remember this book so completely vividly from my childhood. I have no idea how many times I read it, but it must've been several, since the images are so ingrained in my head. I had forgotten about this book and when I discovered it on the shelf at the "Kids for All Seasons" camp at the Four Seasons resort at Manele Bay on Lana'i, I was soooo excited to read it to our girls. Just a simple, fantastic story about a sandwich solution to a large pest problem. But indeed, I felt like I was sharing...more
Janet
Timeless classic, fun to read.
Lifeonthefarminalabama
This was a fun to read book
Janin
My seven year old brought this book home from the school library-- we enjoyed it the first time when he read it to me, but the vocabulary in it is extensive (and excellent!), and we couldn't resist having me read it back to him immediately after so that we could enjoy the delightful rhythm. Not only is the poem/ story well written, but the pictures are fantastically funny in a "How the Trollusk Got His Hat" kind of way and we loved really looking through them to see what was going on.
Linda
I see this on the shelves and my childhood launches itself at me. I loved this story. I still love this story. It has the logic of a child and so it makes utter complete sense. Still makes me a bit peckish tho......
Both boys loved it - laughed and puzzled about the logistics through the whole thing. Still perfectly logical to them.
A thought the tractor/helicopter was brilliant and C loved the image of the wasps all 'jammed' together. Knew they'd love it!
Casey
Haha, I love this book! Throughout this class, looking through books, I keep seeing books that I remember loving... for no apparent reason. This book, was one of those. It's rhyming, it's silly, and has great illustrations. I think this book would be great to read to any elementary class, it's just fun! The enemy is a wildly-disliked creature, wasps; and the heroes are townspeople. A very simple, yet outrageous book.
Shannon
Great book! I enjoyed it when I was a child, now I read to my son who also loves it. It has a great rhythmic pattern throughout the book which makes it an enjoyable and fun read. The author has an interesting idea to get rid of wasps in their small town. The story and illustrations have led to many interesting and inquisitive discussions between my son and I.
Asha Smith
The Giant Jam Sandwich is a book I read when i was a child. I remember loving how the townspeople got together and saved the whole town from the swarm of bees. I think this book promotes community because it shows students that they can should come together to reach a commom goal, especially if the goal will benefit everyone.
Katie Griffin
This is one of the best young children's books I have had the pleasure of reading. The rhyming words are an absolute joy to read out loud and have delighted my daughter since she was three. The illustrations are quite traditional and detailed in my edition, which makes a lovely contrasting style to many of her other books.
Allison
I squealed when I ran across this at our library. My Mom used to read this to my sister and me when we were younger, and I couldn't wait to share it with Jordan as well. Just as I remembered, the views of the giant pieces of jammed bread made me yearn for a post-story snack (before the wasps arrive, of course!).
Lauren
This really reminds me of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs--which I have always LOVED since I was a child, but this one's slightly more geared toward an even younger audience.
Tim
One of the books of my childhood - now I get to enjoy it again reading it with my children (4 & 2).
The only negative in a well paced, purposeful, fun and well illustrated story is that we are trying to help our children NOT be scared of insects. Wasps are enemy No.1 in this book!
Cindi
I saw this recommended on some blog or other and checked it out for my five year old. I was happy with the great illustrations and the rhyming text and then I got an odd familiar feeling. I think one of my teachers in elementary school read this to the class. I loved this book.
Sydney
Really enjoy this book. It starts such great conversations among the students about the size of the sandwich and how everyone in town pitches in to help make the giant jam sandwich. You could then have students make their own giant jam sandwiches and discuss the steps needed to do so.
Steph
one of my favorite children's books. i "earned" it as a reward from Mrs. Walker, my 1st grade elementary teacher. i think i must of read it a million times, because i soon had it memorized and probably recite it to my kids at least a dozen or so times a year.
Ruth Lechler
"The Giant Jam Sandwich" has got to be at the top of the list of childrens books. My kids had this book read & re-read to them while young and to this day they can still recite verses from this book. The illustrations are terrific & the story line is wonderful.
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Janet Burroway is the author of eight novels including Raw Silk, Opening Nights, and Cutting Stone. Bridge of Sand will appear from Harcourt in spring 2009. Among her recent works are the plays Medea With Child, Sweepstakes, and Parts of Speech; a collection of essays, Embalming Mom; the second edition of Imaginative Writing, and the seventh edition of Writing Fiction. She is Robert O. Lawton Dist...more
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