Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Confusion, mystery, and laughs are on the menu in Arnaldo's deliciously goofy back-to-school tale. A dozen fresh-faced kindergartners of varying abilities and skin tones arrive in classroom 2B, where they find, instead of a human teacher behind the big desk, "an impressive-looking sandwich" as well as "Mr. S" scrawled on the chalkboard. Hesitantly, the group accepts their position as students of "Mr. Sandwich." As the children guide themselves--under the sandwich's watchful green-olives-on-a-toothpick eyes--through art, music, and storytime, readers are privy to a second story line unfolding calamitously in the parking lot outside the classroom window. Just as the students reignite their debate about Mr. S's role, a pink-skinned adult bursts into the room--and settles the matter of who's in charge in an unexpected way. Readers will find plenty to chuckle over in Mr. S's floppy lunch-meat tongue, the kids' interactions, and the background commotion, all rendered in high-energy earth-toned images. Ages 4--8. (June)
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Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1--On the first day of school, a class of 12 children notices a cup of coffee, some papers, and a sandwich sitting on the teacher's desk--but no teacher. Without someone to conduct the class, half the kids are ready to run amok until a ruler suddenly falls off the desk onto the floor. Startled, the children decide that the "Mr. S" someone has written on the blackboard stands for the sandwich perched up front. Since they believe they're being supervised by their unconventional teacher, the dozen immediately fall in line and go through their lessons by themselves, including art where they paint pictures of sandwiches, story time, and music where, of course, they sing about sandwiches. Watercolors, colored pencils, and ink are part of the vivid digital illustrations which vary in size and show plenty of movement as well as the children's engaging facial expressions. The diverse, multi-ability class, including a boy using a wheelchair and a youngster with glasses, work as a team while they discuss and argue the probability of having a sandwich for a teacher. Observant readers will see that there's a second dramatic story happening simultaneously in the parking lot just outside the window. VERDICT Mysteries for young readers are few and far between and this one is fun and entertaining; it will elicit laughter and plenty of discussion.--Maryann H. Owen
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
One dreary day in room 2B, a class of kids embraces a sandwich as instructor. On the first day of school, a light-skinned man carefully writes the words Mr. S on the blackboard and then, noticing that a tree has crashed on his car, dashes out to the parking lot, leaving behind a stack of papers and a sandwich. When a dozen or so big-eyed students arrive, they argue about what to do in the absence of their teacher, but when a ruler falls to the floor with a mysterious "THWACK!" the kids come to a conclusion: The sandwich is their instructor. Held together with a toothpick pierced through two green olives, Mr. Sandwich appears to glare at them, so they get to work, with a day of learning centered on (you guessed it) sandwiches. Attentive readers will delight in following the parallel plot through the classroom window as a series of disasters continue to befall the car and will enjoy the satisfying and creative twist. Salmon-colored walls invoke an appropriately unsettled feeling. Everything about the narrative is playful, and readers will be sucked in by a seriously funny question: Can a sandwich be a teacher? The students are racially diverse; one uses forearm crutches, while another uses a wheelchair. (This book was reviewed digitally.) Far from stale and ripe for repeat reading. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.