Thursday, July 18, 2013

Like Bug Juice on a Burger - book review

                                   Quote of the Day!

"Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all." 
                                           ~Abraham Lincoln

Title:  Like Bug Juice on a Burger
Author:  Julie Sternberg
Illustrator:  Matthew Cordell
Ages: 6-10

Ahhh the memories of summer camp!  The good times, bad times and I can't wait for next year .... or never again are you sending me there mom and dad...I'm not going sentiments.... are verbalized. 
 If your kids haven't experienced the squirrely packing, the missing home syndrome, the why am I here disease and I can't believe I just accomplished that bug, then this book will be a treat for you to share with them and I assure you the conversations regarding summer camping will begin....   

Eleanor, a nine-year old is off to summer camp compliments of her grandmother Sadie.  She will attend for a whole ten days and she is happy to know that it is the same camp that her mother, long ago went to named Camp Wallumwahpuck.  At camp she can ride horses, jump on a floating trampoline, swim to her heart's content,  learn to dive and always be eating M&M's....sounds like so much fun. Every day will be a new adventure and she will meet many new friends that are like-minded and will want to be her friend forever.  

As the time gets closer to leave Eleanor worry sets in.  What will it be like to be so far away from home?  Will she miss her parents too much and not have any fun? These and other questions plague her and she is not too sure she wants to go now. 

On arrival Eleanor sees that the alumni are happy and bonded which makes her feel isolated and all alone. Not good.  She falls over a root on the way to her cabin scraping her hands and knees...ouch...not good.  She is assigned the top bunk which she finds hard to put together...not good.  The other five girls in her cabin are already best friends, she fails her swimming test which lands her in the "kiddie" swim group, she discovers that spiders are in the bathroom and the only food she will eat are salads and rolls washed down by Bug Juice.... REALLY not good. Almost immediately she hates camp and writes a letter home begging to be picked up.  

She sums up the camp experience by saying it is like Bug Juice on a Burger.  She hangs in bless her heart, and by the end of camp when her parents arrive to pick her up she is able to show them her accomplishments and be a living testimony to them that she did indeed survive her mother' s summer camp.  

The story is written in short simple sentences and the text is accessible to young readers. It is a tender hearted story written in free verse that any child who has ever struggled with being away from home can identify with and understand.  The illustrations are detailed, cartoonish and really carry the text and flavour of camp along.  I love the colour pallet, it is bold and funky and portrays summer perfectly.  

If you like this book of Julie's you will also like her other book,  "Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie."  

About the author:

 I can tell you about her here but for a real treat check her out at:
She is also on YouTube : A little small talk with Julie Sternberg.

About the Illustrator:

Matthew Cordell is the illustrator and author of many acclaimed books for young readers. Though he spent most of his life in small town South Carolina, at the turn of the century he migrated midwest to set up shop in Chicago. It was there that he met his soon-to-be bride, his passion for children’s books, and deep dish pizza.
Matthew is the illustrator of many books including the Justin Case series by Rachel Vail, Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It by Gail Carson Levine, and Toby and the Snowflakes by Julie Halpern. He is the illustrator and author of hello! hello!, Another Brother, and Trouble Gum.
Matthew now lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his talented wife, picture book author and YA novelist Julie Halpern, their lovely daughter, and a very hungry Siamese cat. 

Book Review Rating:   8    (Fantastic!)
Read on and read always!!!

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