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|Like pickle juice on a cookie|
Author: Sternberg, Julie
When Eleanor's babysitter moves away to care for her sick father, Eleanor spends the summer adjusting to a new babysitter while mourning the loss of her old one.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 142577
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 2.50
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 52910
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/11)
School Library Journal (04/01/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (03/11)
The Hornbook (00/05/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2011 Eleanor Abigail Kane has just experienced an August as dreadful as the black parts on a banana: her beloved babysitter, Bibi, has moved away to Florida to care for her ill father, and Eleanor is bereft. How she grows to love a new babysitter, while still cherishing Bibi, forms the center of this understated early chapter book. The story is told in straightforward, steady verse that echoes the gradual pace of Eleanor’s healing process. Surrounded by adults who are sympathetic to her loss, Eleanor is allowed time to grieve while being gently encouraged to find joy in new experiences and friends. Cordell’s winsome cartoon drawings complement the text without overcrowding the verse. The phrase “pickle juice on a cookie” is used at first to describe something tragic, and then something ridiculous, and fortunately, this title falls into neither category. It tells a simple, poignant story that will resonate with any child who has ever had to say good-bye. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2011 Poor Eleanor is having an August “as bad as the black parts on a banana” because her beloved Bibi, her babysitter ever since she can remember, has suddenly moved away from New York to take care of her ailing father. Grieving for Bibi, eight-year-old Eleanor resists her usual enjoyments, finding them all a painful reminder of her lost friend; perhaps worse still, child care must go on, and her parents hire a new babysitter, Natalie. Sternberg hits all the right notes here, capturing a sensitive kid’s first experience of loss with tender respectfulness and full acknowledgment that separation is a bereavement too. Eleanor’s narration, in compact, informal ragged-right lines that build into brief chapters, is heartfelt, accessible, and energetic, depicting a lively urban existence filled with well-defined routine and a constellation of known associates, from best friends to letter carriers to hairdressers. While it’s less realistic than novelistically convenient that there’s apparently no phone or email contact possible with Bibi, leaving the good old-fashioned letter a key plot point, the postal wait time gives both readers and Eleanor a chance to get used to new babysitter Natalie, who’s clearly got much to offer in her own right. This hits the same sweet spot as Amy Hest’s New York-set titles, and a text that’s suitable for reading alone or aloud gives it additional versatility. Sprightly line drawings, with the same perky homeyness as the story, add visual energy. DS - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2011 Gr 2–4—Eleanor is having a bad August, so bad it is "like pickle juice on a cookie." Her longtime babysitter, Bibi, is moving away to take care of her ailing father, and the eight-year-old is having trouble coping with her loss. Her parents and new babysitter, Natalie, do all they can to help her, but Eleanor is constantly reminded of Bibi and the things they did together. Writing a letter to her helps and she meets the mail carrier, Val, who promises to keep a lookout for a reply. Eleanor does receive a letter in the mail, but it is from her third-grade teacher welcoming all of his new students to school. The bustle of a new school year helps Eleanor, a talk with Natalie about the importance of first babysitters does, too, and then on the first day of school Bibi's reply arrives. After reading it, Eleanor realizes that Bibi will always be special to her, no matter where she lives. Through short, easy sentences, Sternberg has captured the feelings of a young girl, the worries that loom large, and the importance of small matters. Early chapter-book readers will identify with the protagonist and enjoy reading about her. Cordell's pen-and-ink drawings effectively illustrate the ups and downs of Eleanor's life.—Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.