What happens when Sal and her mother meet a mother bear and her cub? A beloved classic is born!
Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother a picking blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a mama bear preparing for her own long winter. Meanwhile Sal’s mother is being followed by a small bear with a big appetite for berries! Will each mother go home with the right little one?
With its expressive line drawings and charming story, Blueberries for Sal has won readers’ hearts since its first publication in 1948.
We are fortunate to live in an area where we can go blueberry picking in the summer, and we do most years. Reading Blueberries for Sal was almost always a part of the experience. Even as my children got too old for picture books, they didn’t mind re-reading Blueberries for Sal and referring to it as we picked, kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk. I so closely associate this book with blueberries, that even when I just buy blueberries from the store, I pay a mental tribute to memories of warm summer days picking and eating blueberries. There is a delightful mismatch at the heart of the story which creates some suspense and interest to the experience. We were lucky in all of our excursions never to have met a bear though.
Robert McCloskey (1914-2003) wrote and illustrated some of the most honored and enduring children’s books ever published. He grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, and spent time in Boston, New York, and ultimately Maine, where he and his wife raised their two daughters. The first ever two-time Caldecott Medal winner, for Make Way for Ducklings and Time of Wonder, McCloskey was also awarded Caldecott Honors for Blueberries for Sal, One Morning in Maine, and Journey Cake, Ho! by Ruth Sawyer. He was declared a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000. You can see some of his best-loved characters immortalized as statues in Boston’s Public Garden and Lentil Park in Hamilton, Ohio.