‘Would YOU eat this sandwich?’ is the question on the cover, drawing the reader in to an entertaining story about a very hungry badger’s tolerance of the disgusting. Badger lives on the edge of a park and the images tell us that he usually avails of a running buffet from the rubbish bins. But it’s a low day for edibles and we can almost hear Badger’s tummy going ‘Rumble, Rumble…’. So, when a boy drops a tasty-looking sandwich made with fresh white bread and peanut butter, Badger runs. He doesn’t mind that it’s covered in gritty sand from the sandpit … but neither does an opportunist squirrel. Then, when squirrel’s children squabble over it, the sandwich falls into a nearby pond. Gloopy green slime is the next addition, and, showing one creature’s disgust is another’s delight, this doesn’t deter a waiting frog. On it goes, as various creatures display increasing levels of tolerance for unappetising additions to the sandwich, until at last, slugs start to nibble it. Badger, still hungry eventually catches his prey. And what does he do…?
The Disgusting Sandwich will nicely feed young children’s appetite (sorry BfK readers) for the unpleasant. It opens up conversations about why we find certain things inviting to eat and are repulsed by others, while showing that levels of tolerance for the yucky might vary. The park scenes are interesting and Shaw’s sketchy artwork gives life to the varied creatures in pursuit of the sandwich, especially the feisty lady fox who prefers live pigeon as part of her diet.