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There's A Book

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg and Illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Published by Amulet Books

Pages: 128

Publishers Summary:
I had a bad August.
A very bad August.
As bad as pickle juice on a cookie.
As bad as a spider web on your leg.

As bad as the black parts on a banana.
I hope your August was better.
I really do.

When Eleanor’s beloved babysitter, Bibi, has to move away to take care of her ailing father, Eleanor must try to bear the summer without Bibi and prepare for the upcoming school year. Her new, less-than-perfect babysitter just isn’t up to snuff, and she doesn’t take care of things like Bibi used to. But as the school year looms, it’s time for new beginnings. Eleanor soon realizes that she will always have Bibi, no matter how far away she is.

Written in a lyrical style with thoughtful and charming illustrations throughout, this remarkable debut novel tells a poignant story of friendship and the bittersweet feelings of growing up.

What’s a girl to do when her one and only best friend and babysitter leaves her all alone with no hope of seeing her again? Meet Eleanor, a typical girl with very busy parents who have provided her with the next best thing, her babysitter Bibi. When Bibi has to leave to take care of her father, Eleanor’s world comes crashing down around her. Those once enjoyed afternoons with Bibi are now a thing of the past and she’s sure things will never be the same again. What’s even worse is her parents attempt to fix the situation with a replacement! Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie is the story of how one small girl comes to terms with the partial loss of one amazing friend and discovers there just may be many more friends/babysitters out there to enjoy.

So, I have to start by saying my very first reason for picking up Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie at ALA Mid-Winter this year had everything to do with the title. My first reaction, yuck! How awful! So, I had to pick up the book, there was no question in my mind that this was bound to be a very funny and potentially enjoyable read. Well, I’m so glad the book was exactly the opposite of the title, not yucky at all, but just perfect. Not only that, but the illustrations within the book only added to the whimsical feel that starts with the title. This is the perfect book for young readers, even as young as age six I believe.

What I discovered upon reading the book was that there was so much more to the book than a simple quirky title with a young girl at the center. It was a story about loss, moving forward, and discovering new opportunities. Losing a cherished friend and babysitter in Bibi’s case isn’t uncommon. There are children all over that lose a variety of things and people for many reasons, what Sternberg does through her book though is provide a way to move forward. In Eleanor’s case she’s able to still keep in touch with Bibi through letters, but she’s also given the opportunity to connect with a new babysitter. What I enjoyed so much about this interaction was the reality of the situation. Eleanor wasn’t immediately accepting, but with the help of her parents and her new very patient babysitter Natalie she found there were new things to enjoy.

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie starts out as a very cute and seemingly quirky title, but leads into a book that will be loved by all who read it. Through a young girl named Eleanor readers learn about loss through young eyes, which seem to see everything as a finality with no hope for better days. In time Eleanor is able to accept the changes surrounding her and readers, especially young readers, will learn that there is always something to be appreciated about what’s to come. Julie Sternberg’s debut is absolutely perfect for young readers and I’m eagerly anticipating her second book!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 6 to 12. Help young readers understand and appreciate the possibilities associated with loss and an ever-changing world, no matter how small or big. A whimsical and enjoyable read for all!


Thanks to the author, Julie Sternberg, in conjunction with Blue Slip Media I have the opportunity to giveaway one copy of Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie to There’s A Book readers! Thank you!

Details: One winner will be chosen at random after the contest closes. You MUST fill out the form below, comments will not count as entries. Only one entry per household. Giveaway is open to US/Canadian Residents only. The giveaway will run from May 07, 2011 to May 31, 2011 midnight EST.

Find Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg at the following spots:
Powell’s Books
Barnes & Noble

Thank you so much to the publisher, Amulet Books, who provided a copy for review to me while at ALA Mid-Winter this year!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

8 Responses to Book Review and Giveaway: Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg

  1. NotNessie says:

    This looks like a very cute little read. I love the title, too!

  2. Oh it sounds so sweet and thoughtful. Great review.

  3. Gina says:

    Oh I saw this one in out bookstore! Loved the title/cover combo. Really original. Sounds like the story is quite a surprise as well. May have to check it out. Great review! Thanks for sharing… ^_^

  4. […] I became aware of Matthew Cordell from his illustrations for Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg, which I loved! So when I learned he has a new picture book out I couldn’t resist posting […]

  5. Jody Gonzalez says:

    Looking forward to using this book for our summer Mother-Daughter
    Book Club. Thank you.

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