Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

by Julie Sternberg (2011)

Have you ever had a friend or relative move away without much notice? Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie is a story that addresses just that topic. Loss is a part of life, sometimes from a move, or disagreement, or growth, or sadly, a death. In Eleanor’s case, her babysitter Bibi moves away. The personal growth that slowly follows this powerful loss is tremendous and uplifting. If you’re in search of an introductory title around 120 pages long that tackles the challenges of surviving and overcoming loss, you’ve found it!  Julie Sternberg’s Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie.

Eleanor’s loyalty is her strength, but Eleanor’s loyalty also causes her suffering. She is sullen and resists connecting with everyone, including her new babysitter. That is, until she opens her eyes and heart and is willing to expand herself to new ways of connecting with all sorts of people.

The cover art of Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie looks cartoonish and simple, but the story inside introduces learning new interpersonal skills with patience and grace, and Sternberg’s careful, simple prose teaches young readers about accepting people as they are.  If you would like to demonstrate the art of being gentle to your students and families, read and share Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie with them.