MaiStoryBook Library: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates + *Friendship Sandwich* Craft

Introducing a quirky back-to-school read about making friends~ featured in MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” by Ryan T. Higgins

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *We Don’t Eat Our Classmates* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

It’s the first day of school, and Penelope Rex is excited to meet her classmates! *Who will they be? Will they be nice? How many teeth will they have?* When you are a T. rex like Penelope, that last questions is very important. With her new pony backpack (ponies are *delicious* by the way!), and lunch box filled with 300 tuna sandwiches~ and 1 apple juice~ Penelope heads off to school! But, imagine her surprise when she arrives to find out that all her classmates are~ Children! And if there’s one thing Penelope knows about children… it’s that children are *Delicious!* So how does Penelope start off her very first day of school, and greet her new classmates for the very first time? *She *EATS* them, of course! And no matter how hard she tries not too, she can’t resist a tasty snack~ that is, until the class goldfish teaches her a lesson she won’t forget. Read along as Penelope learns that if she wants to make friends~ she’ll need to put her appetite aside and realize~ *We Don’t Eat Our Classmates!*

Author Ryan T. Higgins succeeds again in creating an absurdly, hilarious, curious, delightful tale ~ a subtle yet prevalent sense of humor drives the story as young Penelope Rex tries to resist eating her classmates. For little ones anxious about meeting new friends, well… being eaten by a classmate is about as bad as it can get, and as Ryan T. Higgins illustrates and tells it~ it’s really not too bad at all. After all, everyone *wants* to be a good classmate and make friends~ everyone is just still learning how~ and as classroom and school rules are developed, practiced, and understood, friendships will slowly form. Penelope Rex shows us that even if we get off to a bad start, you can always make friends by doing what friends do best~ sharing, using nice words and actions, and playing!


  • Nervous (p. 1) when you feel anxious, a little scared, and you don’t really know what’s going to happen
  • Delicious (p. 4) super yummy
  • Determined (p. 13)  trying very hard and not giving up
  • Appetite (p. 30) the want and need to eat
  • Peeks (p. 34) looking at something quickly and sneakily

Themes/ Main Ideas

  • How to be a Good Friend~ Good friends share, play together, and use kind words and actions
  • First Day of School Worries Feelings: Discuss with your little one how they fell about the first day of school and if they have any questions

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

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*Friendship Sandwich* Craft

*~First Day of School!~* It can be daunting… *Will I like the teacher? Will the teacher like me? Will I like my classmates? Will they like me?* First day jitters are more often socially oriented, rather than *Will I be able to learn? Will I like what we are learning?* And it makes sense~ after all, we are spending the next  ~9 months with these people, the majority of our days will be at school~ it’s important that our classroom and school be a place we feel like we belong and are welcome. As a first-grade (and first year!) teacher this coming fall, my main goal is to create a caring classroom community. I want to create an environment students feel safe and respected in, and excited to come back to everyday! One way to create a community is to firmly establish expectations and procedures at the beginning of the school year~ and sometimes, this can take weeks! It involves creating rules together as a class, and role-playing and modeling how to be a good classmate, what to do when there is a disagreement, how to share, how to be inclusive, etc. Children, especially the little ones, need this explicit guidance. One way to teach children and provide explicit examples is through *read alouds* and this book, *We Don’t Eat Our Classmates* is the perfect read to park a conversation about how we treat each other. Plus, this week’s craft, making a *Friendship Sandwich* is a great way to review the *ingredients* to a lasting friendship!


  • 2 pieces of brown construction paper
  • 1 piece of green, red, yellow construction paper
  • String/ribbon
  • Crayons/markers
  • Hole puncher
  • Scissors


  • Fold one of the brown papers in half and draw a toast shape. Cut it out so that you have two toast shapes for your two pieces of sandwich bread.
  • On one piece, draw you~ on the other piece, draw a friend. You can write *Friendship* on one piece, and *Sandwich* on the other*

  • Cut out a lettuce shape from the green paper. Draw an activity that good friends do together~ such as playing something together, sharing, eating a snack together.

  • Cut out a tomato shape from the red paper, a rectangle cheese shape from the yellow paper, and a meat circle from the brown paper.
  • Write and draw activities or characteristics of what makes a good friend on all the pieces.

  • Use a hole puncher to make holes at the top of every piece.
  • Sandwich the ingredients in between the two pieces of bread, and then loop the string through the holes.
  • Tie the string so that the sandwich pieces are all connected.

Enjoy Your *Friendship Sandwich* Craft

  • Share your friendship sandwich with family and friends to discuss what makes a good friend and what some of your favorite friend activities are.
  • Use your sandwich as a reading buddy as you re-read the story and talk about what Penelope could do differently to be a good friend *instead of eating her classmates*
  • Hang up your friendship sandwich to remind you of how to be a good friend.
  • Share a friendship sandwich with a friend and choose an activity from your sandwich to do!

*~Overall, have fun creating and sharing  your  *Friendship Sandwich* Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones have a great First Day of School!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary, Twitter @MaiStoryBook  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Friendship Sandwich* Crafts, and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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