Friday, July 4, 2014

Spider Sandwiches - a book review

Quote of the day:  

             "The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places."  - Roald Dahl

Today's featured book:

Title:  Spider Sandwiches
Author:  Claire Freedman
Illustrator:  Sue Hendra
Ages:  Ages 4+
Release date:  July 15th, 2014.

What Scholastics is saying about this book:

Rhymes. Mealtimes. And YUCKY BUGS! Two monster talents: one tasty tale. Tuck in. What happens when the author of Aliens Love Underpants meets the illustrator of Barry the Fish With Fingers? One extremely funny picture book with amazing pictures, that’s what. Do you like cheeky little monsters and big giggles? Then join Max the monster for tea. What’s on the menu? Fish-eye cheese, snail trail sauce and cockroach curry. Delicious! Max will gobble up anything crawly, creepy, hairy and sticky. But can you guess his favourite snack of all?

Let's take a peek inside shall we?

My take on the book:

Meet the loveable little monster Max who delights in the most disgusting cuisine alive (or dead).  Max adores sandwiches...sandwiches  of "toenail scrambled eggs", "lice rice", "furry fried bat's ears" and "pickled worms." If it's disgusting then Max gives it an A+ rating.   "He LOVES to glug slug milkshakes,/through a stinky hosepipe straw./ And as for beetle cookies-/he can ALWAYS munch one more!"  This bottomless little sandwich-pit chows, crunches, and digests all the creepy crawlies, hair-infested and sticky, gooey delicacies in sight, right down to the "Mice Krispies."  Yum!  The one thing that turns his stomach....and yes there is one that sends him running from the room, is Brussel Sprouts!  Even to a monster with a garborator mentality this is way too much to bear.  

Max is created as a friendly, happy, curious and very adventurous little monster. You will be very amused at what his most favourite sandwich is and how he savours the taste of it when he sits down every tea time and indulges until his tummy is full.  

This beautifully illustrated book includes much detail and fun vignettes of Monster shopping, sunbathing and having a picnic.  Written in rhyme this book will have your little ones saying such words as... gross, and yuk and no way.... very often as the book is read out loud to them and as they eagerly await Max's next distasteful sandwich concoction.  I am sure he will gladly share with you if you like! 

About the author:

I’ve been a writer for over 15 years now, but it wasn’t planned!
I left school at age 16, and because I really didn’t know what else to do, I spent a year at secretarial college. I figured out there was always going to be a job going for a secretary.
However, apart from a short stint at the B.B.C. as possibly the worst secretary ever, I changed direction and started working at Harrods, London as a trainee buyer.
A couple of years later I discovered the cut and thrust of retailing really wasn’t for me. I took on various other jobs, including working as a dental nurse (which incidentally didn’t cure my fear of dentists!) and as a production assistant in a reprographic and printing company.
I began to write after joining a creative writing class. I had no success with article writing, or short stories, or fiction, but the first children’s story I wrote, for a magazine called Twinkle, was accepted for publication. Hooray!!!
Things snowballed and a lot (yes lots and lots) of hard work later I now write full time and have over 50 books published. I still go to the same writing class and we have become a big happy family of writers!
For me, writing is the best job ever. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I love to create worlds for young children to enjoy and escape into – whether the stories are educational, bedtime, problem solving or just plain good fun. It’s also very exciting to see the first picture roughs, as my wonderful, talented illustrators bring the text to life.
I live on the Essex coast in a lovely two-bed-roomed flat (we’ve just moved up from a lovely one-bed flat – hooray lots more space!), which I share with my husband, Michael. At long last I have an office to write in, with room for all my books and bits of scribbled on papers – though at the moment the room is taken over with lots of unpacked boxes etc etc. Need some shelving asap!
The seafront is (still) just around the corner, and I find a bracing walk (it gets freezing when the East wind blows from the North Sea!) or gentle stroll when the weather is warmer, is great for clearing my head and mulling over story ideas.
In my spare time I love walking along the sea path and eating out at our favourite beach-side cafe. I also enjoy shopping for clothes (I am very girly but not everything is pink!) and catching up with my friends.
If I could be anywhere in the world I would be with Michael on a beautiful sandy beach near St Ives, in Cornwall. We’d be eating a Kelly’s Cornish Ice cream (32 flavours to choose from, and I haven’t tried them all – yet!!) and cooling our toes in the Atlantic surf. Cream teas and Cornish pasties would probably feature too! Heaven!
Anyway – that’s enough of my day-dreaming. Back to work……..!

About the illustrator:

Sue Hendra graduated from the University of Brighton in 1994 and has been an illustrator of children's books since then. She has worked on over 70 titles, including the fabulously funny Barry the Fish with Fingers. Sue lives in Brighton with her partner and their young daughter.  

Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Go make yourself a sandwich...enjoy!

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