Carla’s Sandwich

Written by Debbie Herman
Illustrated by Sheila Bailey

When Carla brings weird sandwiches to school, her classmates have plenty to say about them. “That’s sick!” says Leslie. “That’s disgusting!” says Natie. But Carla thinks otherwise. “It’s unique. It’s creative.” Just like Carla. Although she is teased and even ignored by her classmates, Carla’s strong inner sense of uniqueness eventually wins them over.

Wacky sandwiches, wacky illustrations and kid-true dialogue make this book’s message of acceptance, tolerance and the importance of individuality extremely palatable. And who knows? Carla’s Sandwich may even help parents with that ever present dilemma – what to pack for school lunch!



  • NY State Reading Association Charlotte Award list, 2006
  • Society of School Librarians International Honor Book, 2005
  • Storytelling World Award Honor Book, 2005
  • NSW Premier Reading Challenge Book in Australia
  • Atlanta Parent Magazine Staff Book Pick


Chosen as an Atlanta Parent Magazine Staff Book Pick in honor of Children’s Book Month (November 2004).

Chosen as the Best Children’s Fiction 2004 for 3-7 year olds by

Starred Review from Criticas Magazine for Spanish edition El sándwich de Carla gets  

 From Children’s Literature
 “…an ending that will delight readers young and old.” –Mary Loftus

From Edwards Book Club
“…a story that teaches children that it is okay to be different and that by embracing other’s differences you may just discover something “surprisingly terrific”. This book is a wonderful tale of friendship, tolerance, and acceptance.  With colorful, delectable, and brilliant full-page illustrations, it is a must read for children between the age of 4 and 8.”

From Atlanta Parent Magazine
“[We] pulled together the Atlanta Parent Staff Picks of our favorite books from 2004… We culled through hundreds of titles…The competition was fierce, and many excellent books didn’t make the final cut. But then again, we only had room for 20….Spunky Carla is one cool kid…” Elizabeth Cobb

From Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children’s Media
“…This is a good story for a variety of reasons and uses ranging from its themes of not pre-judging something, especially food, without trying it; problems with mean-spirited teasing; and creative follow-ups such as new sandwichs/drawings of these….”

From Large Print
“…This is an enchanting story that is accompanied by delectable and gleeful illustrations…I wholeheartedly recommended Carla’s Sandwich to readers of all ages!” -Auggie Moore

From Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer
“Celebrate the joys of being different! A delicious reading adventure!” –Betty Dravis,

From Midwest Book Review
“Imaginatively written… and nicely illustrated… Carla’s Sandwich would make a popular and “kid friendly” addition to any school or community library picture book collection!

“This book will be to the brown bag lunch what Dr. Seuss was to ham and eggs…. Sheila Bailey’s irrepressible illustrations are completely engaging and the perfect complement to the text. This book is a gem.” Allie Bates

From Love to Know Children’s Books
“This delightful, multiple award winning book finds a young girl named Carla bringing sandwiches created with strange ingredients to school for lunch. Although she’s regularly teased for her unique lunch concoctions, she stays true to herself and her quirky style, eventually winning over her classmates. The story will ring true to kids who have experienced a “lunch bully,” and help empower them to stand up for themselves.”

From Rebecca
“…delightfully illustrated by Sheila Bailey: her way with food is scrumptious! I could not put Carla’s Sandwich down, nibbling my way through a very funny story…” Rebecca Brown, 

“Carla’s Sandwich…was a delight to read and is thoroughly recommended.” Andrea Wren, 

From Neat Solutions Inc. for Healthy Children
“Carla is very unique, and so are her sandwiches!…  This book with colorful, cheery illustrations might just evoke some ideas of crazy recipes for you to try with your kids!” 

From Embracing the
“exploring the joy of being unique – check it out for school lunches”

“A delicious book — I grant Carla five stars for her originality and fantastic food pairings.” Ephraim Kadish, Chef, Restaurateur and father of four

“…a charming story that presents a new way for young children to understand how to creatively embrace who they are, no matter what others think.” Sally Bernstein, Editor in Chief,

“…a delightful tale of a courageous young girl who, despite peer pressure, stayed true to herself.”

“…filled with odd delights…” – Susan Finkle

About the Creators


Debbie Herman is the author of Carla’s Sandwich, illustrated by Sheila Bailey, as well as Rosie Saves the World and From Pie Town to Yum Yum. A full-time writer and editor, Debbie has worked for McGraw-Hill and Scholastic, and is currently a writer and editor at ETS/Edusoft. A former elementary school teacher with an M.A. in Special Education, Debbie resides in Jerusalem, Israel, where she makes weird sandwiches of her own.




Sheila Bailey is the illustrator of Carla’s Sandwich, written by Debbie Herman. Sheila has illustrated many children’s books, including: Spaghetti and Peas, The Wizard and King Whifflegroan, and Special People, Special Ways. She lives with her family on Sauvie Island near Portland, Oregon. You can see more of Sheila’s artwork on her personal website.

Book Details

ISBN: HC 9780972922524 / ePDF 9781936261802 / ePub 9781936261819 / KF8 9781936261826 
Print Length: 32 Full Color Pages
: Fall 2004
Age Group: 4-8
Reading Level: 3
Word Count
: 1234
Foreign Editions
: Chinese and Spanish


THEMES: creativity, peer pressure, food, sharing, teasing, individuality

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