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Book Reviews

LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE by Julie Sternberg

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Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie is the story of Eleanor.  Eleanor is 8 years old and it is the summer before 3rd Grade.  At the center of the story is Eleanor learning her long-time babysitter/nanny (Bibi) is moving from Brooklyn to Florida to take care of her own ailing father.  Bibi is the only babysitter Eleanor has ever had.  The thought of Bibi not being with her is equivalent in her mind to the death of a loved one.  The title comes from a delightful scene just after Bibi departs in which Eleanor’s mother is trying to cheer her up:

Then she [mother] said,

“Should we have something special for breakfast?

Some chocolate chip pancakes?”

“No,” I said.

“With powdered sugar?”

“No,” I said.

“Cinnamon toast with extra cinnamon?”

“No,” I said.

“How about pickle juice on a cookie?” she said.

“Would you like pickle juice on a cookie?”

And then I had to smile.

Because that was just ridiculous.

Eleanor’s first life journey through grief to a place of acceptance where she can embrace the new and joyful things that will flourish in her life is a magnificent guide for her readers.  Written in concise and colorful free verse Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie will appeal to readers in grades      1-4.

Although somewhat more grounded and less madcap than Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine and Barbara Parks’ Junie B Jones series, young readers will equally identify with and enjoy Eleanor’s frank assessments of her life.  This is a great read-aloud or independent reading choice–particularly for the end of 2nd Grade or the beginning of 3rd Grade.

 

If you enjoy Eleanor’s story as much as I did, then don’t miss Like Bug Juice on a Burger.  This adventure features Eleanor going off to summer sleepaway camp and is as thoroughly enjoyable as the first!

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