Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Sandwich Swap

I absolutely adore her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan! Yes, she's a Queen and yes, she's beautiful, but it's more than that. If I am going to admire someone, it's going to be for her acts of kindness, her compassion for others and her humanitarian efforts and not what she is wearing, who she is dating or what movie she recently starred in. Queen Rania is just this sort of person. With her emphasis on education for all and promotion of human welfare and social reform, she is the type of person that I strive to be and hope that Emmy will be too. Emmy has asked me on numerous occasions why she is here on Earth (not sure where this stems from...maybe her study of planets with her friends at school). I always tell her that she is here to love others and help whenever needed. I've said it so often that she will now tell me that her "purpose is to help all people." I applaud her for knowing her purpose and focusing on people and not things.

Finding books that help communicate the idea that we are all citizens of this wonderful world is not always easy. However, Queen Rania has written a book that celebrates our differences in a way that is easily understood by young children. Written along with Kelly DiPucchio , (check out this post on Kelly's Blog). The Sandwich Swap is a picture book based on Queen Rania's childhood experiences.

Emmy really enjoys this book! It has been taken off the shelf so often at our local book shop that we may be wearing out the pages! Here's a sneak peek at the beginning of this amazing book:

It all began with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…and it ended with a hummus sandwich.

Salma and Lily were best friends at school.

They drew pictures together.

They played on the swings together.

They jumped rope together.

And they ate their lunches together.

But just what they ate was a little different.

Lily ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for lunch.

Salma ate a hummus and pita sandwich every day for lunch.

And although Lily never said it out loud, she thought Salma's sandwich looked weird and yucky. She felt terrible that her friend had to eat that icky chickpea paste every day. EW. Yuck.

And although Salma never said it out loud, she thought Lily's sandwich looked strange and gross. She felt just awful that her friend had to eat that gooey peanut paste every day. EW. Gross.

I for one love the use of this metaphor (lunch sandwiches) for the differences between two friends from different cultures and am delighted by how the two girls come up with a solution at the end of the story that not only unifies their friendship, but gives all the children the chance to celebrate their uniqueness! Even Emmy, who is not one to try new foods, asked to have hummus for lunch after our first reading.

Listen to her Majesty as she describes how "our differences can enrich our lives."

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