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Our post on McCloskey continues as we read his books again at home. Blueberries for Sal is another favourite of Sprinter’s from our McCloskey collection. It won a Caldecott award and this made Robert McCloskey the first ever two-time Caldecott Medal winner.

robert 3Sal and her mother are picking blueberries to can for the winter. Mama bear is preparing for her own long winter with her cub. Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill and bumps into a mama bear. Baby cub wanders off and finds himself with Sal’s mother. Oh dear, will each mother go home with the right little one? Both mothers are unaware the wrong young one is following them. In the end, it’s a fun story with a happy ending. Sprinter enjoys this book. I remember reading it to him when he was not quite four yet but he was giggling and giggling at the mix up. I wonder what his reaction will be when we read it again this time. Again, the simple illustrations are endearing and very detailed. Sal and Sal’s mother are modeled after McCloskey’s daughter, Sally, and wife Peggy.

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McCloskey raised his two daughters in Maine… so I wonder if real events also inspired this story. I have a feeling Sprinter will appreciate this book a little better this time. He didn’t quite get it some two years ago. As in the previous book, the spotlight is on Sal again. She is no longer the toddler who went picking blueberries but an elder sister now to a toddler. Probably around 6(?) as she loses her first tooth! Sprinter lost his first tooth not so long ago so he can emphathize with Sal! Sal heads down to the beach after breakfast to look for her father. While helping him dig clams… she loses her wiggly tooth! She was so looking forward to make a wish and give it to the tooth fairy! Such disappointment and frustration. Sal takes hold of her emotions and learns to let go. She still makes a secret wish… does it come true in the end? Happy ending 🙂 I love staring at his black and white drawings that are filled with emotions 🙂


I love the harmonica. I’m not good at it but I love it because it brings back precious memories of my late grandfather. He bought me an expensive harmonica when I entered middle school.
My story aside… Lentil is about a boy who wants to sing but unfortunately is not able to. He can’t even whistle. He saves his money and decides to buy himself a harmonica and practices every moment he gets… until he’s quite good! And his talent helps save the day when the whole town is giving Colonel Carter a homecoming.

Lentil is the first book Sprinter chose to read. (Will upload photos later.) We did some activities together after reading this book. I printed out some worksheet that go along with the book and put together a ‘Lentil file’. A popular activity that is done along with this story seems to be a taste test. And Sprinter loves experiments so we decided to do one ourselves. Old Sneep in the book sucked on a lemon so we tried as well… filling out our worksheet as we went along. We tried out the different taste buds on our tongues using salt, lime juice, black coffee and maple syrup. Fun!

I love how some stories are just so rich and fun that you can do so much more with a book than just read. Anyway, am looking forward to which Robert McCloskey book Sprinter chooses to read next! 🙂