106 of 111 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Symmetry of Nature, Family, and Nurture!,
This review is from: Blueberries for Sal (Viking Kestrel picture books) (Hardcover)Little Sal and her mother go to Blueberry hill to pick berries, and they plan to can them as preserves for the winter. Little Sal soons starts eating all the berries she picks, plus some from her mother's pail. Encouraged to go off to find berries to pick by herself, mother and Sal become separated. On the other side of the mountain, Little Bear and his mother are coming to eat all the blueberries they can to get as fat as possible so they can survive the winter. They, too, get separated.
Soon, Little Sal stumbles onto following mother bear and Little Bear is following Sal's mother. Eventually, the mothers discover the mistake, back away in shyness from the other's child, and look for their own offspring. Along the way, the children run into bird mothers and their families as well. Everyone goes home with the correct mother, and the last drawing has Little Sal with her mother in an old-fashioned kitchen with a wood stove working on the preserves.
The story is gently and beautifully told, and wonderfully complemented by the illustrations (also drawn by Mr. McClosky).
It is a good introduction for children to the way that all human and animal families work, the need to prepare for the future, and that one has to pay attention to where one is going. It will also interest them in blueberry picking, which is a wonderful family occupation. It is also very heart-warming the way Mr. McClosky has taken the potential fright out of a situation where a child has wandered off and run into a mother bear. The child can draw her or his own lesson that they would not want that to happen to them, rather than having the story provide terror.
Mr. McClosky has expressed a benign but significant role to nature that will serve families well. I wonder if he ever visited the Galapagos, because the animals there and the people act much like in this story.
Overcome your disbelief stalls about how children can learn from stories with this outstanding book. I rate it one of my top five of all time for younger children. It was a favorite of all four of our children. I hope it will be for you and your children and grandchildren, as well.
Think of this story the next time you eat some blueberry preserves.