Clementine (Clementine Series #1)

Clementine (Clementine Series #1)

4.3 42
by Sara Pennypacker, Marla Frazee

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Clementine is having not so good of a week.

  • On Monday she's sent to the principal's office for cutting off Margaret's hair.
  • Tuesday, Margaret's mother is mad at her.
  • Wednesday, she's sent to the principal again.
  • Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her.
  • Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse.
  • And by Saturday, even her mother is

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Clementine is having not so good of a week.

  • On Monday she's sent to the principal's office for cutting off Margaret's hair.
  • Tuesday, Margaret's mother is mad at her.
  • Wednesday, she's sent to the principal again.
  • Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her.
  • Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse.
  • And by Saturday, even her mother is mad at her.

Okay, fine. Clementine is having a DISASTROUS week.

Editorial Reviews

"Margaret's hair was not my fault and besides she looks okay without it," narrates ingenuous 8-year-old Clementine. Kids who appreciate the funny foibles of Junie B. Jones will love this firecracker of a heroine, who calls her little brother, variously, Spinach, Radish, and Rutabaga: "Okay fine, my brother's name is not really Spinach. But I got stuck with a name that is also a fruit, and it's not fair that he didn't. The only thing worse than a fruit name is a vegetable name," she reasons. A sweet family life, though, serves as the foundation for the story, which charts a tough week for Clementine, involving badly cut (and marker-dyed) hair, trouble with the principal, and a spat with a best friend. Spirited black and white ink drawings make Clementine's antics easy to envision for new chapter book readers. (Ages 6 to 8)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2006
Publishers Weekly
I have had not so good of a week," begins the irrepressible narrator of this winning caper. Pennypacker (Stuart's Cape) then takes readers straight through that week, making clear that Clementine has an unfailing nose for trouble and a comical way with words. The eight-year-old proclaims herself lucky because "spectacularful ideas are always sproinging up in my brain." One of these ideas concerns her fourth-grade friend and neighbor Margaret getting glue in her hair, and Clementine's attempt to help; together they cut off nearly all of Margaret's long locks. Further strategies involve the use of permanent markers and Clementine undergoing a sympathy coif. Frazee's black-and-white illustrations of the close-cropped gals captures the mixed emotions of their shared fate. Her portraits of the heroine's three-year-old brother, "who didn't get stuck with a fruit name," and whom Clementine calls by various vegetable names, including "Spinach," "Lima Bean" and "Pea Pod," may remind readers of the charming star of Frazee's Walk On! Along with the humorous bits, Pennypacker seamlessly weaves into the narrative common third-grade themes, such as Clementine comparing Margaret's neatly dressed banker mother with her own overalls-clad artist mother, and envying Margaret her kitten from the litter of Clementine's own lately deceased cat, Polka Dottie. Luckily, Clementine ends her week on an up note. Fans of Judy Moody will welcome this portrait of another funny, independent third-grader. Ages 7-10. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
For a third grader, Clementine spends an awful lot of time in the principal's office. It is not that she is a bad kid, she is just a rambunctious one with lots of rather harebrained schemes in her little head. Clementine does not always think before she acts and though her heart is always in the right place, Clementine seldom is. Although Clementine's unusual parents never get too flustered, they do try to help Clementine see that she does not need to act on every idea she has. This is an enjoyable read with a fun character with personality to spare. Frazee's illustrations are an added treat to this quirky story. 2006, Hyperion, Ages 7 to 10.
—Joan Kindig, Ph.D.
Children's Literature - Kathryn Erskine
Spunky and perky like Junie B. Jones or Ramona, new-to-the-scene Clementine bounces in with child-like perspectives, fun language, and much heart. Though often in trouble, we know she means well. In fact, we find ourselves wondering why the adults in her life cannot see things her way. Fortunately, her parents are helpful and understanding and they both obviously have a good sense of humor. An excellent transition from Junie B. and early chapter books, readers will find short chapters, wonderful illustrations, and fun themes. It is also a bridge to true middle grade novels because there are poignant moments, too, such as when Clementine comes to terms with her not-so-sophisticated mother, realizing that she loves the art and freedom her mother represents. There are laugh-out-loud phrases, funny encounters in the principal's office, friendship mishaps, sibling issues with her little brother whom she calls endless vegetable names, given that she is named after a fruit, and many ordeals with which third-graders, like Clementine, can relate.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Clementine, a not-so-common third grader, knows her way around the principal's office as well as she does the art-supply closet. Daily rituals take on a different view when seen from her eyes. She's constantly being told that she needs to "pay attention," but to her mind she is paying attention and making astute observations. Whether looking out the window during the Pledge of Allegiance at the janitor locked in an embrace with the lunch lady or dealing with a pesky pigeon problem at her apartment building, her concentration is always focused. Clementine goes to great lengths to be friends with fourth-grade neighbor, Margaret, but more times than not, both girls end up in trouble. Humorous scenarios tumble together, blending picturesque dialogue with a fresh perspective as only the unique Clementine can offer. When the protagonist pleads to skip school because of a self-inflicted haircut fiasco, she tries to convince her mom that she must have caught arthritis from old Mrs. Jacobi or has possibly come down with the "heartbreak of sore irises." Frazee's engaging pen-and-ink drawings capture the energy and fresh-faced expressions of the irrepressible heroine. And even though she confesses that "I do not think fathers should be comedians," her parents are portrayed as being fairly cool. A delightful addition to any beginning chapter-book collection.-Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Maybe it was because third-grader Clementine was a little bit angry with her best friend Margaret that things got out of hand with the scissors and the permanent markers and the hair. Or maybe she really was just trying to help. In short chapters, set in the city apartment building her father manages or the school where she has some tough days, Clementine relates the events of the trying week she discovered she was the difficult child in her family and thought she was about to be given away. Middle-grade readers will sympathize with Clementine's conflicted feelings about her friend and her family, and laugh out loud at her impulsive antics, narrated in a fresh first-person voice and illustrated with plenty of humor. Just like her family they will cheer when she comes up with a way to end The Great Pigeon War as well as the temporary rift with her friend. Energetic and imaginative, Clementine is gifted with understanding and patient parents. Give this to readers of Cleary and Blume and cross your fingers for more. (Fiction. 7-10)

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Product Details

Publication date:
Clementine Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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