What Planet Are You from, Clarice Bean?

Overview

Clarice Bean needs a science project or she's in BIG trouble. Her brother Kurt just wants to save the planet. And now they're both up a tree.

"Sometimes I think gravity is a pity," says Clarice Bean, who is learning all about planet Earth in school. When Mrs. Wilberton assigns a project called The Environment, Clarice’s ever-active brain leaps to the holes in the sky caused by her sister’s hairspray, and to the nature safari that’s in her brother’s bedroom. But when she learns that a big tree right on Navarino ...

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Overview

Clarice Bean needs a science project or she's in BIG trouble. Her brother Kurt just wants to save the planet. And now they're both up a tree.

"Sometimes I think gravity is a pity," says Clarice Bean, who is learning all about planet Earth in school. When Mrs. Wilberton assigns a project called The Environment, Clarice’s ever-active brain leaps to the holes in the sky caused by her sister’s hairspray, and to the nature safari that’s in her brother’s bedroom. But when she learns that a big tree right on Navarino Street is about to be chopped to pieces, Clarice has no choice but to join her quirky family up in the tree’s branches, eat spaghetti, and save the day.

In a welcome new installment in the Clarice Bean escapades, Lauren Child makes a clear case for ecoaction - and gives the cause of saving the planet a hilarious new spin.

When Clarice has to do a school project on the environment, she and her family become eco-warriors in an attempt to save a tree on their street.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Oh, how we love Miss Clarice Bean. With her mop of blonde hair and excited eyes, she is breath of fresh air. We have come to expect the unexpected from this vivacious youngster, and Clarice does not disappoint in this eco-minded tale.

While learning about planet Earth in school, she is assigned a project on the environment. With no inspiration for how to begin, and desperately trying to avoid her partner, Robert Granger, who wants to do a project on who walks faster, a snail or a worm, Clarice focuses her attention on her brother, Kurt. Distressed, Kurt relates a newspaper headline: "Tree to Be Chopped Down on Navarino Street." and decides to protest by camping out in the tree. This leads to quite a good-humored family affair, with the whole clan sitting in the tree, complete with posters that say "Free the Tree." When Clarice's teacher, Mrs. Wilberton, scolds her for being late and failing to bring in a project, Clarice explains, "I've been up till all hours, saving the planet on my street." Clarice's project? Being an eco-warrior.

Author-illustrator Lauren Child pulls out all the stops in this wonderfully wacky and Earth-conscious tale. Her trademark collage illustrations have never been more creative, and her scribbly drawings add movement and a quirky twist to every layout. The text itself is another medium for evoking spirit and joy -- Child uses a variety of fonts in all sizes to express emotion. Fans of Clarice Bean will be familiar with her bright-eyed approach to life and her unconventional, and often hilarious, thoughts. Ms. Bean is a true force to be reckoned with -- and we can't wait to see whose feathers she ruffles next. (Amy Barkat)

Publishers Weekly
The star of Clarice Bean, That's Me and Clarice Bean, Guess Who's Babysitting? returns for a third adventure, What Planet Are You From, Clarice Bean? by Lauren Child. When she learns a neighborhood tree is about to be chopped down, the heroine's environmental assignment takes on new meaning as she joins her entire family for a spaghetti-eating sit-in amongst its branches. The mixed-media and collage illustrations heighten the hilarity. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Written from the point of view of a young girl learning about the Earth, we are reminded of the delightfully curious questions and comments that children have about the natural phenomena adults take for granted. "Our planet Earth is large compared to Pluto, but compared to the sun, Earth is a peppercorn." "It doesn't feel like we are standing on something round" is written in the round, with other phrases sprinkled all over the pages in different fonts and shapes according to their meaning. Robert, the boy next door, is mostly a nuisance until he stands up for Clarice at the end; Grandpa loves nature, especially Australia, where you can drive for "squillions of days without noticing a single supermarket;" and Clarice's brother Kurt becomes an ecowarrior to save a tree. The whole family joins Kurt in the threatened tree project while Clarice insists that her snail and worm project is not finished because she has been "up till all hours, saving the planet on our street." Robert confirms the story to the very skeptical teacher "and that is absolutely the only time Robert Granger has been useful, ever." The mixed media illustrations, including collage, paint and ink, are bright and whimsical. This is a clever and humorous yet very serious introduction to ecology and caring about the environment. 2001, Candlewick Press,
— Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-Clarice Bean is back with a unique slant on gravity, relationships, and the environment. When the feisty girl (who thinks gravity is a pity) needs to come up with a science project for Mrs. Wilberton's class, she inadvertently becomes an ecowarrior, thanks to her adolescent brother. Kurt, as Clarice explains it, is too depressed to even chew his food when he learns that a neighborhood tree is to be chopped down. Novice protesters, he and a friend camp out beneath it. Clarice, her little brother Minal, and her friend Noah (who can draw anything except camels and horses) provide posters and join the older boys, attracting the local media. In the end, even stoic Mrs. Wilberton can't resist a slight smile when she hears of Clarice's involvement in the protest. Once again, Child hits the mark with her swirling, multi-font text and quirky, colorful illustrations that mirror her protagonist's astute observations. Each page is artfully designed with a mix of pencil-and-ink drawings and photo-collage. Clarice has a voice that children will identify with and delight in, making this a must for most collections.-Carol L. MacKay, Camrose Public Library, Alberta, Canada Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The indomitable heroine of two previous picture books returns to provide readers with her own take on environmentalism: "Nature is something I know lots about. We've got lots of it in our backyard." Joined with her old nemesis, Robert Granger, by her new nemesis, the humorless Mrs. Wilberton, on a school project about snails and worms, she nevertheless manages to put her own individual stamp on it when her brother Kurt stages a sit-in to protest the cutting down of a neighborhood tree. Child's signature style (Clarice Bean, Guess Who's Babysitting, 2001, etc.), which combines cartoony line-and-watercolor figures with photographic collage, is, if possible, even more unrestrained than in her previous outings. Mrs. Wilberton looks like a spiky cross between Viola Swamp and Ms. Frizzle (her glasses bristle with malevolent energy), while Clarice's businessman father appears complete with five o'clock shadow. The typeface is fully integrated with the overall design-each character speaks in an individualized font-and frequently spirals wildly over the page, even as the story itself goes wackily over the top. Clarice's precocious voice is nearly perfect, as she parrots half-understood adult phrases in her own narration: "Dad would much rather cook for a living but he's up to his ears in the wheeling and dealing business and someone's got to bring home the bacon." At the end, Clarice Bean declares herself an ecowarrior, and while child readers are likely to be as unclear on that concept as Clarice herself is, the busy illustrations, the frenetic pacing, and the crazed good humor with which Clarice's whole family involves itself in the protest will elicit (though less reluctantly) the same praisegiven by Mrs. Wilberton: "Well done, Clarice Bean!" (Picture book. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763616960
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Series: Clarice Bean Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.17 (w) x 11.13 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Child describes her spunky character Clarice Bean as "a sort of mishmash of lots of different children and lots of childhood memories." Of WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM, CLARICE BEAN?, she says, "Clarice is giving us her kooky but serious take on the environment, something many children learn about in school. It’s such a universal topic that I wanted to write about it, but not in a moralizing or preachy way." Lauren Child is also the author of I AM NOT SLEEPY AND I WILL NOT GO TO BED and the Kate Greenaway Medal-winning I WILL NEVER NOT EVER EAT A TOMATO. The daughter of two teachers, Lauren Child lives in London, England.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    Excellent view from a child's perpective

    The amazing thing about this book is the genuine voice of a pre-teen, the observations that are so authentic, the details not missed. Even the simple but busy artwork is very expressive, such as the facial expressions -- incredible!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2002

    A FUN WAY TO MAKE AN IMPORTANT POINT

    Clarice Bean, the irrepressible little charmer created by Lauren Child, is seeing green. Green as in ecology, that is. School is getting interesting for Clarice as she's learning about our planet Earth. Gravity is an amazing force to her, as is the fact that the sea doesn't spill over at its edges. Nonetheless, her class is assigned a project called The Environment. She's pleased because to her that is simply nature, and she knows a lot about that as there is plenty of it in her backyard. Being paired with Robert Granger, the pest who lives next door, is enough but when Clarice learns a tree on her street is about to be cut down, well, things get really rugged. Brother Kurt decides to try to save the tree by camping in it, and others sport 'Free the tree' signs. Just imagine what Clarice comes up with in order to save the tree. Once again, Lauren Child comes up with a fun way to make an important point.

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