You probably don’t believe that I have not written a review for every book I have read. But that is true. One day in June 2023 I was reading online reader copies for picture books. And probably three to five of them I figured I would be unable to write a good review for or I just did not like them (there was one that I hated the ending so much that had it been a physical copy I would have thrown it). However, How to Make a Peanut Butter Sandwich in 17 Easy Steps was one I felt I could do a good review of and one that even if there was something I didn’t like, I knew I would not totally hate it.
At first Bambi Edlund’s book started with a bit of a, “Oh no. This isn’t going to work.” But soon, something happened and I felt that unless something really horrible happened, I was in love. That little something was that the characters in the book paid for the things they took. I do not think I have seen a book where this was as obviously addressed. The narrator even says to make sure they “pay for the items.” And though they borrow (though looks like stealing) a hat and some food, they use it to make money to pay for the oranges they juggled (read to find out why a raccoon juggles oranges), and return the hat.
The story just goes from there. The start of the story is cute, it tells you all the things you’ll need to make a peanut butter sandwich. Things like three oranges, a skateboard, some squirrels, mice, raccoons and a moose. Some peanuts, a skunk, four red clogs and so forth. Then we learn how to make the sandwich. Everything is over the top, clever, silly and even this ol’ grump had the giggles. So trust me, your child (of most ages) will be rolling on the floor busting a gut.
And Edlund’s illustrations are silly, clever, and detailed but not crowded. They are colorful, but not overwhelming, and they show the story in a supportive manner, and yet are the story along with the text. And to think I was actually thinking of not reading this due in mid-September 2023 book when I first came across it.