Book review: The Sandwich Thief, by Andre Marois, Patrick Doyon, illustrator

Marois, Andre. The Sandwich Thief. Patrick Doyon, illustrator. Chronicle Books, 2013. $14.99. ISBN 9781452146591. Unpaged. Ages 6-10. P7Q6

marios-sandwich-thiefI have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it has a funny storyline about a boy whose gourmet sandwiches keep getting stolen out of his lunchbox and the resulting “investigation” into who could be the thief. The illustrations are modern, rough and quirky and will appeal to some kids. The suspects include some of Marin’s classmates, his rumpled and overworked principal, some teachers, and the janitor. I was uncomfortable with the depiction of two of Marin’s classmates who are suspects- Big Bobby, whose main hobby is eating, and Poor Marie whose mom lost her job. The stereotypes here are funny, but they feel insensitive to me. The book was translated from French, and I assume there are cultural differences about perceptions of political correctness. VERDICT: I am unsure about putting this book in my library’s collection.

January 2017 review by Carol Schramm.

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