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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - CARLA'S SANDWICH

written by Debbie Herman
illustrated by Shelia Bailey
Flashlight Press
ISBN: 0972922520
Ages 4-8

Whole wheat, rye, croissant, wrap, toast, bagel – all yummy sandwich covers. Turkey, peanut butter, jelly, liverwurst, cow’s tongue – all yummy sandwich fillings. Uhh . . . well, maybe not cow’s tongue – I’ll pass on that. But there are endless combinations and varieties of sandwiches to fulfill just about anyone’s desire.

In CARLA’S SANDWICH, author, Debbie Herman dreams up sandwiches all green and slimy and some with yellow and white stuff oozing from their sides and Carla just loves them all. BUT, did you notice not a sandwich could be found with onions? Could it be that Ms. Herman is not an onion fan?

Illustrator, Sheila Bailey must have had a ball painting the variety of sandwiches. I particularly liked the sardine and mustard one with sunflower seeds, though I would probably “hold” the sardines if it were my sandwich.

Together Debbie Herman and Sheila Bailey created not only weird sandwiches, but an original and fun book, which will certainly have children experimenting with all kinds of sandwich ingredients . . . Let’s see, how about gummy worms and popcorn covered with marshmallow fluff and stuffed into a pita bread? YUM! Check out your local school lunchroom for more sandwich varieties after teachers read this book to their classes.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“This is a very interesting book,” said Hannah.

“Carla made some weird sandwiches,” said Ethan.

“Everybody thought that Carla’s sandwiches were disgusting,” said Sarit.

“I think the most disgusting sandwich was the asparagus, pasta and soybean sauce sandwich,” said Anya.

Hannah scrunched up her nose. “They WERE disgusting,” she said, “but they were creative, too!”

“The pickle sandwich looked creative,” said Katie-Erin.

“Carla got crazy with her sandwiches,” said Philippe.

“But, Carla’s classmates were mean to tease her,” said Katie-Erin.

“All she wanted was to be different,” said Marta.

“And, it’s okay to be different,” said Hannah.

“I’d like to be different - like Carla,” said Katie-Erin.

“Yeah, everybody has different tastes,” said Hannah. “I would actually like to try Carla’s sandwiches.”

“But, if someone laughed at my food, I would probably be sad,” said Katie-Erin.

“That’s happened to me before,” said Pritka. “I brought in pita bread with mashed potatoes that were yellow, and the other kids said, ‘Eww,’ what’s that smell?”

Anya could barely wait for Pritka to finish. “One day I brought in sushi and my friend said,” “I hate sushi!”

“Well, I’d probably tell them that it’s my food and I like it,” said Hannah.

Becky thought for a moment and then said. “I think Carla was brave to bring in all those sandwiches.”

“Marta nodded. “I never knew a person brave enough to bring in something like that, though.”

“But, Carla was!” said Sarit.

“And, she was very creative,” said Lucy.

“Yeah!” said Ethan, “and each food had a unique taste, smell, and texture,” he added, “but that’s just my opinion.”

“If I were Carla,” said Hannah, “I would bring a toasted marshmallow sandwich with blueberries, chocolate, and raisins.” Then she laughed. “I don’t think it would taste too good though, but it would be fun to try it.”

“If I were to make a sandwich, it would include ketchup, mayonnaise, salad, and pizza,” said Pritka.

“Eww!” groaned Sarit.

“I think a hotdog and marshmallow sandwich would be good,” said Philippe.

“I wonder if Carla could put them in a cookbook?” asked Pritka. “It would make a very good cookbook.”

“I think that it would be fun to read over and over,” said Jake, “because every time you read it, you would laugh at the different sandwiches.”

“Well, when I get home I am going to make a crazy sandwich like Carla’s,” said Anya.

“The lesson that the author was trying to teach you is that you should always try something,” said Ethan with a smirk on his face. “Even if it looks like something that cat dragged in.”



1. After reading CARLA’S SANDWICH, ask your Kiddles to decide which sandwiches seem “normal” and which sandwiches seem “creative.”

Normal: egg salad or tuna salad

Creative: sardine and mustard with sunflower seeds

2. Then have your Kiddles examine their own lunches to see what types of sandwiches they have and decide if their sandwiches are “normal” or “creative.”

3. Next make two columns on chart paper, labeled OUTER COVERINGS and INNER FILLINGS. Using the Kiddles’ lunches, ask them to decide into which column their coverings and fillings belong. Write their answers in the correct column. When finished, hang in a prominent spot in your classroom for extra reading practice.


rye bread bologna
bagel peanut butter & jelly
hot dog roll alfalfa sprouts
tortilla curried potatoes


1. After reading CARLA’S SANDWICH and doing the OUTER COVERINGS and INNER FILLINGS lesson above, have your Kiddles make a WEIRD SANDWICH COOKBOOK .

2. To demonstrate, use chart paper and write a step-by-step sandwich recipe.

Take two slices of bread.
Spread one slice with chocolate syrup.
Spread the other slice with strawberry jam.
Arrange pickles on the slice with the chocolate syrup and place the strawberry jam slice over the pickles.
Cut into four sections.
Chomp away! Bon Appetit!

3. For more fun and reinforcement have Kiddles suggest combinations for several more recipes, write them out on chart paper and hang the recipes around the room for extra reading practice.

4. Now the Kiddles are ready to write their own recipes. Encourage them to use their imagination to create a weird sandwich recipe, which will be included in their WEIRD SANDWICH COOKBOOK.

4. Provide plenty of time for the Kiddles to work on their recipes during school time.

5. Next, have them read their recipe to several classmates to check for logical sense.

6. Last, each Kiddle should have a teacher conference to be sure the recipe makes sense and is accurate.

7. When the recipe has been approved by you, have the Kiddles take their recipes home for a trial run. They should make the sandwich, following their step-by-step directions to be certain that all the steps are correct and in order.
(Be sure to suggest parental guidance at home.)

8. They should also write up the recipe and illustrate it in final form, which will be added to the WEIRD SANDWICH COOKBOOK.

9. One more final edit should be done with a teacher conference to be sure that all is in good form.

10. Xerox all recipes and bind into book form. (Make enough copies for each Kiddle to have his own book.)


1. Have the Kiddles make their sandwich creations at home, cut them into four sections, and arrange the sandwich wedges on a covered paper plate and bring to school.

2. Give each Kiddle an index card. Have them write their name and the name of their sandwich on the card.

3. Arrange all sandwich creations on a decorated table and have each Kiddle select four different sandwich wedges to sample. Bon Appetit!

(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

By the Seaside Sandwich:
Food Timeline--history notes: American public school lunches


Kids Cook! by Sarah Williamson & Zachary Williamson
Moose Racks, Bear Tracks, and Other Alaskan Kidsnacks by Alice Bugni, illustrated by Shannon Cartwright
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