Friday, February 28, 2014

Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake - A Sneak Peek, Review and Giveaway

Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake (Eleanor #3)
by Julie Sternberg; Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Amulet Books, March 18, 2014

Disclaimer: Book and Artwork was provided as part of Sneak Peek Book Promotion. Book opinions are all my own.

Description from GoodReads:

I did a mean thing.
A very mean thing.
I HATE that I did it.
But I did.
This is worse than
carrot juice on a cupcake
or a wasp on my pillow
or a dress that’s too tight at the neck.

In the third installment from the team who created Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie and Like Bug Juice on a Burger, Eleanor’s relationship with her best friend, Pearl, experiences its first growing pains. When a glamorous new student transfers to school, at first Eleanor’s excited about the possibility of a new friend. But when Pearl is assigned to be the new girl’s buddy, Eleanor fears she can’t compete. To make matters worse, Eleanor’s been chosen for the lead role in the springtime musical, which means she has to sing a solo in front of the entire school!

From overcoming stage fright to having a secret crush, young readers will relate to Eleanor as she navigates the bittersweet waters of growing up.

My thoughts on this book:
Note: Though there are no spoilers for Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake, there are references to things that happened in the first two books. 

Since I first read, Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, I have been a fan of Julie Sternberg's books.  She has a very simple but spot on way of capturing important childhood experiences.  In the first book, we meet Eleanor as she is adjusting to her babysitter moving away, and beginning third grade.  Eleanor is now in fourth grade.  She has adjusted to a new babysitter, survived summer camp, and now must face some new childhood challenges.  

Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake will resonate with readers who have ever had to tackle new challenges.  Eleanor finds herself in the starring role in a school play where she even needs to perform a solo.  Sternberg provides readers with someone they can truly relate to and a means of exploring the feelings that accompany facing something that seems really scary.
copyright © 2014 by Matthew Cordell

However, the book does not just focus on the issues of performing in a play, and stage fright.  There is also the issue of friendship and what happens when someone moves into school or into a class mid-year.  Eleanor and Pearl are best friends, who spend a few afternoons a week together.  When Ainsley moves to their school from Orlando, Pearl is assigned to be her buddy.  Sternberg helps readers understand changes in friendships, the importance of treating one another kindly, and maintaining someone's trust in ways that children will understand. 

copyright © 2014 by Matthew Cordell

Though I loved Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, I think Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake may have come close to being my new favorite.  Maybe I need to learn a little something from Eleanor, Pearl, and Ainsley about favorites.  If you are looking for a fun classroom read aloud for second or third grade, I would highly suggest giving this one a read through.  Additionally, this series is one of my "go to" referrals for teachers looking for chapter books for young readers moving beyond early readers and first chapter books.   

About the author:
Julie Sternberg received her MFA in writing for children from the New School. She is the author of Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie and Like Bug Juice on a Burger. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

About the illustrator: Matthew Cordell is the illustrator of Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, Like Bug Juice on a Burger, Bat and Rat, and Trouble Gum. He lives outside Chicago.

Complete the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a copy of all three Eleanor books - Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, Like Bug Juice on a Burger, and Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake. Open to those 13 years and older with US mailing addresses.

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