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LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE tells the story of a girl named Eleanor, whose beloved babysitter, Bibi, has just moved away. 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 the same. 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.

Illustration by Matthew Cordell


2014 Children’s Gallery Award


Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books’ Stellar Series List


Spring 2011 Indie Bound Kids’ Indie Next List


Junior Library Guild Selection


2011 ABC New Voices Project Selection


National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Honors book


Texas Bluebonnet Award 2012 Master List


New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing


2012 Gryphon Award Winner


2011 Cybils Finalist, Easy Readers & Early Chapter Books


Red Tricycle 2012 Totally Awesome Awards,

Finalist, Beloved Bedtime Stories category


“This first novel is a promising debut.” –Kirkus Reviews


“No less resonant for its simplicity and accessibility, Eleanor’s ingenuous free-verse monologue should strike a chord with readers … Eleanor’s gradual warming to her new sitter is affectingly narrated, and Cordell’s halftone cartoons convey the story’s pathos and humor, as well as Eleanor’s changeable moods.” –Publishers Weekly


“[This book] tells a simple, poignant story that will resonate with any child who has ever had to say good-bye.” –Booklist

“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 … is heartfelt, accessible, and energetic.” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This little gem hits all the right notes on the subject of change in the life of a child. Eleanor’s voice is true to life, without any of the sarcasm we hear so often. If only we all had such understanding people in our lives! The illustrations by Matthew Coedell add the perfect touch.” –Review for Spring 2011 Indie Next List, submitted by Candice Foster, Bayou Book Company, Niceville, FL

“It is rare to find a child narrator who knows her own experience well enough to show it to her reader. It is rare to find a children’s book in which a parent can help a child with her feelings, but not appear too good to be true. It is rare to find a children’s book with a problem of ordinary loss and a real, honest, healing transformation. In LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE, a first book by Julie Sternberg, we have all of these. Pickle Juice is an early chapter book, written in lyrical free verse for children grades 1-3. We think it is a powerfully moving and useful book for older children, parents, and therapists as well.” -Psychology Today blog


“Adults will find the book a quick, charming read. … Children will like reading about a character who feels the traumas of her young life as poignantly as they do. … The humor of the book will reach all readers, aided greatly by simple and evocative drawings by Matthew Cordell.” -225 Magazine


“Perfect for that cautious kid who is anxious about everything.” -Newsday

“Written in free verse, this sweet realistic story is one that many young readers will be able to identify with, especially if they lose someone special in their life.” -Library Media Connection


“This was almost the best book I’ve ever read, because it had very nice, exciting parts in it, and it was just a really good book.” –The Book Works for Kids, reviewed by Anna D. (age 7 and a half)


“This heartwarming novel and its winsome cartoon-like illustrations draw readers right into the story. Children would enjoy this short chapter book as an independent read, but it would also be a particularly good choice for parents to read to or with their children.” –BookPage

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