Friday, May 13, 2011

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
by Julie Sternberg
Amulet Books, 2011. 119 pgs. Intermediate

When Eleanor's parents tell her they have "difficult news," she thinks Grandma Sadie may have died. But the news is even more difficult than that. Her beloved babysitter Bibi is moving away. This news is "like pickle juice on a cookie," or a black banana, or a spiderweb stuck on your leg. All through the terrible August after Bibi leaves, Eleanor thinks of all she is missing with Bibi gone, and all the things her new babysitter Natalie does that are not like what Bibi did. Her parents make her play with the Terrible Agnes because her friend Pearl is gone for the summer, and she accidentally starts reading Moby Dick for summer reading. But one day Eleanor notices that August has become September, that Pearl is back, that she really does like Natalie, and nothing seems so terrible anymore. Sternberg's free verse story of disappointment and renewal, accompanied by Matthew Cordell's witty drawings is a perfect beginning chapter book for little girls facing unwanted changes, or for anyone wanting a gentle, funny story.

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