Just when you think there is no new way to present the alphabet, along comes Hannah and her order for a tall sandwich.
In this tale told in rhyming couplets, Hannah asks McDougal at the deli for an “A to Z sandwich” on thick, whole wheat bread. “Avocados and bean sprouts—fresh carrots galore. / Dill pickles, egg salad—those figs I adore!” In the double-page–spread illustration, Hannah gazes rapturously at the bits and pieces of sandwich fixings that McDougal is furiously chopping. “ ‘Green peppers,’ said Hannah, ‘sliced thin, if you please. / And drizzle on lots of sweet honey from bees.’ ” It’s alphabetical, though not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. Marshmallow spread, nuts, olives, potatoes, and quinoa get stacked in order, followed by a radish, sunflower seeds, a tomato, and ugli fruit. Vanilla and whipped cream add a sweet touch with toppings of xouba fish, yam, and zucchini. Voilà! It’s the vivacious, messy, and deliciously appealing illustrations that turn the tale into a real romp. With curly red hair, pale skin, and freckles galore, Hannah is a charmer, seemingly unconcerned as olive-skinned McDougal grows increasingly sweaty and food-spattered. The alphabetical ingredients are for the most part readily recognizable, though readers are likely to side-eye that xouba fish (which the illustration reveals to be a sardine).
A made-to-order toothsome tale. (Picture book 4-8)