The Little Mouse Mask
Blueberry Paint

Blueberries for Sal

by Robert McCloskey

Beloved author Robert McCloskey wrote and illustrated Blueberries for Sal, a gentle adventure story that won the Caldecott Honor Book award in 1949. From the minute you open the cover you will feel yourself relax and be drawn into the world of Little Sal and Little Bear.

The beautiful two-page introductory illustration of Sal and her mother canning blueberries sets the tone for this sweet book filled with just enough suspense that young readers will be holding their breath in anticipation. The gentle humor of two mothers' mix-up will appeal to kids’ sense of humor and the detailed blue-black illustrations allow readers to feel they too are on Blueberry Hill on a beautiful, sunny day. A true classic every book lover will treasure for years to come.


In this Issue



Blueberry Paint

Blueberry Paint - Blueberries for Sal - Off the Shelf

When you think about activities to make Blueberries for Sal come alive for young readers, you automatically think about recipes: from pancakes to muffins, pie to even sauces, blueberries are perfect for so many things. But anyone who has ever dropped blueberries on their pristine summer white clothes knows that blueberries have the perfect inky purple-blue juice to make paint!

Drawing inspiration from the blue-black ink of the illustrations, this activity will expand the way you think of these yummy little berries. From the fun of smashing berries to proudly displaying finished artwork, young readers are sure to enjoy this new way to paint.

Blueberry Paint

Blueberry Paint - Blueberries for Sal - Off the Shelf

Blueberry Paint - Blueberries for Sal - Off the Shelf

Blueberry Paint


  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen and thawed blueberries (you can use more or less depending on how much paint you want)
  • water
  • paper
  • paintbrush
  1. Place blueberries in a microwave safe bowl. Add a tablespoon or so of water to the blueberries (This is just to thin it a bit; you will need more water if using fresh berries). 
  2. Mash the blueberries with a fork. It's okay if there are some large pieces of blueberry left. 
  3. Microwave for 1 minute. 
  4. Use paintbrush to paint a beautiful picture with the blueberry paint!

Related Post: Milk Paint Paintings


Blueberry Yogurt Pops

Blueberry Yogurt Pops - Blueberries for Sal - Off the Shelf

 The story and illustrations for Blueberries for Sal perfectly capture a long, carefree, summer afternoon. That simplicity is matched with this recipe for deliciously cool and creamy yogurt pops. With just four ingredients and some time in the freezer, you have a treat that Sal is sure to have loved, if she could ever fill her bucket with enough berries to make these!

Blueberry Yogurt Pops - Blueberries for Sal - Off the Shelf Blueberry Yogurt Pops - BLueberries for Sal - Off the Shelf

Blueberry Yogurt Pops - Blueberries for Sal - Off the Shelf

Young Readers in the Kitchen

Young readers can help measure the ingredients into the blender and add the popsicle sticks to each pop!

Sal's Blueberry Yogurt Pops

adapted from The Gracious Kitchen


  • 2 cups low- or non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Measure all ingredients into a blender. 
  2. Blend until smooth. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to make sure all ingredients, especially honey, have combined.
  3. Pour blueberry mixture into popsicle molds or paper cups. Add tops to molds or popsicle sticks to cups and freeze for several hours or overnight. 


More from Off the Shelf

More Robert McCloskey: Make Way for Ducklings

More Blueberries: Red, White, and Blue CornbreadBerry SmearL is for Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes, and Old Black Witch's Bewitching Blueberry Pancakes.


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