Friday, July 4, 2014

Flashback Friday: Blueberries for Sal

Kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk! Sal is following her mother up Blueberry Hill and picking berries as she goes, although she quickly discovers that the picking is more fun when she eats the berries she picks rather than dropping them into her pail. As she wanders away from her mother to the other side of Blueberry Hill, a mother bear and her cub have just begun foraging for their morning snack on Blueberry Hill as well. The bear cub is too busy eating blueberries to notice that he's wandered away from his mama also. Sal's mother and the bear's mother discover at the exact same time that the "child" she hears trailing behind her isn't her own.

Blueberries for Sal, written by beloved children's author and illustrator Robert McCloskey in 1948 for his own daughter Sally, won the Caldecott Honor the following year. The dark blue block print illustrations are simple and breathtaking. My favorite print is the one pictured below of Sal playing with her mother's canning jar rings while her mother cans the blueberries they've gathered. The scenes capture a simpler time and place in our history. The storyline with the bear is captivating for young children. The delight, yet slight fear, of the bear near the humans keeps little one's attention while the symmetry of the story makes them shriek in delight.

You can find Blueberries for Sal in the Picture Books - Summer section of The Book Children Store.


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