Authors: Julie Sternberg
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the
product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living
or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Like pickle juice on a cookie / by Julie Sternberg; illustrated by Matthew Cordell.
Summary: When eight-year-old Eleanor's beloved babysitter Bibi moves away to care for her ailing father,
Eleanor must spend the summer adjusting to a new babysitter while mourning the loss of her old one.
[1. Novels in verse. 2. BabysittersâFiction. 3. Loss (Psychology)âFiction. 4. Self-relianceâ
Fiction.] I. Cordell, Matthew, 1975- ill. II. Title.
Text copyright Â© 2011 Julie Sternberg
Illustrations copyright Â© 2011 Matthew Cordell
Book design by Melissa Arnst
Published in 2011 by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. All rights reserved. No portion of
this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the
publisher. Amulet Books and Amulet Paperbacks are registered trademarks of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Printed and bound in U.S.A.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Amulet Books are available at special discounts when purchased in quantity for premiums and promotions
as well as fundraising or educational use. Special editions can also be created to specification. For details,
contact [email protected] or the address below.
I had a bad August.
A very bad August.
As bad as pickle juice on a cookie.
As bad as a spiderweb on your leg.
As bad as the black parts of a banana.
I hope your August was better.
I really do.
My bad time started one morning
when my parents sat down in my room.
“We have some difficult news,” they said.
I hate it when they say that.
It means they have terrible news.
The last time they had difficult news,
they had lost my hamster.
Her name was Dr. Biggles.
My dad had left her cage open.
We went from door to door
in our Brooklyn apartment building.
We asked all the neighbors,
“Have you seen Dr. Biggles?”
But we never found her.
I tried to think what news could be as difficult as that.
“Did Grandma Sadie die?” I asked.
“Of course not!”
said my mother.
“Grandma Sadie is in excellent health,”
said my father.
“Why would you ask such a question?”
said my mother.
“She is the oldest person I know,” I said.
“I thought she might have died.
That would be difficult news.”
My mother shivered.
“Yes,” she said.
“That would be very difficult news.”
my father said.
“So what is the news?” I asked.
My father looked at my mother.