Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 2 - 5Grades 1 - 2n/an/an/a

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.


Praise for Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
“Eleanor’s ingenuous free-verse monologue should strike a chord with readers, especially those who may have had to cope with the loss of a loved one. Cordell’s halftone cartoons convey the story’s pathos and humor, as well as Eleanor’s changeable moods.” –Publishers Weekly

“Cordell’s winsome cartoon drawings complement the text without overcrowding the verse. It tells a simple, poignant story that will resonate with any child who has ever had to say good-bye.” –Booklist

“This first novel is a promising debut. Eleanor’s concerns, not only about her babysitter, but also about playmates, friends and a new school year will be familiar to readers, who will look forward to hearing more about her life.” –Kirkus Reviews

“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. Sprightly line drawings, with the same perky homeyness as the story, add visual energy.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Heartfelt, accessible, and energetic…” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"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
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published on March 1, 2011 by Harry N. Abrams
ISBN-10: 0810984245
ISBN-13: 9780810984240
2 Book Reviews
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  • catsforever4
    catsforever4Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 3:48 pm55 stars
    i wanted to read this book because it touches you heart, and sucks you in. when Eleanor has her friend over she sees the good side of her and not what she thought of he in the first place. so that taught me a valuable lesson. NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER ( which means never judge someone by what they did or what people said about them! see for your self if you like them or not) and that is why i think you should read Like Pickle Juice on a cookie. So Remember NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!! THANK YOU!!! Hope you ENJOY this BOOK!!
    • volleygal
      volleygalThursday, February 19, 2015 at 8:57 pm
      Fun book! I think that this book is good for elementary school students, specifically 3-5. I think that those great could relate well to Eleanor.