The Sandwich Swap

Jordan's Queen Rania Al Abdullah based children's book "The Sandwich Swap" on a memory from her own childhood.

The Sandwich Swap By Queen Rania Al Abdullah Hyperion 32 pp., $16.99

This year's crop of children's books includes a number of "green" titles that focus on how kids – and the rest of us – can help to heal the earth. But how about relationships between people? Can they be healed as well? Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah believes that they can and has written The Sandwich Swap to prove it.

The queen, who lives in a famously troubled part of the world, explains in an author’s note that this book is inspired by an incident in her own girlhood. “The Sandwich Swap” tells the story of Lily and Salma – best friends forever who love to play, create, and eat together. (Their joy of their togetherness radiates throughout veteran illustrator Tricia Tusa’s sunny drawings.)

At least, that is, until the day that Lily tells Salma that her hummus sandwich is yucky. And Salma responds that Lily’s peanut butter sandwich smells funny.

It all escalates from there and the girls must – and do – find a way to bring peace not only to their friendship but to their entire lunchroom. For readers young and old, it’s a lesson to remember.

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.

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