McCloskey, R. (1948). Blueberries for Sal. New York: Scholastic, Inc.
This is an oldie, but a goody. Illustrated in the naïve style, with the illustrations monochromatic, this book is just a pleasure to read, and flashes back to a simpler time. The simple blue strokes by the artists’ pencil (or pen?) are enough to make the pictures rich! Also, the strokes give the illustrations texture, so the blueberry patches seem thick and full. The expressions on the faces of both the humans and the animals are perfect to adding to the suspense of the mix-up between little bear and little human. It’s suspenseful enough for the little ones to enjoy and clever with the wording as well. Loved this story “then” and love it now and it brings back fond memories of picking berries with my grandpa (no bears, though, in Hutchinson, Kansas)! Funny side note – read this one with five-year-old cousin Waverly, and she thought Sal was a little boy by looking at her. I told her I looked just like that because I had very short hair (because I wouldn’t take care of it, Mom cut it) and I loved overalls. Waverly was wide-eyed since her hair is down to her waist!