Since her parents are ogres of the worst kind, Clementine is rather relieved when her mother is snatched by dragons and her father is lost at sea in a bottle. Now she eats when and where she pleases. She does her hair as she likes, or not, depending on her mood. She is happy. But when a lion appears, uninvited, in her living room, Clementine’s pleasant world is suddenly upended. And when he eats all the food and wrecks her home, Clementine realizes there’s nothing she can do but leave. Or is there?
With its surprising plot twists, fantastically imagined storyline, and dark(ish) humor, Zoey Abbott’s highly entertaining picture book offers young children a brave — and resourceful! — new heroine for their time. Clementine, a girl with an inspiring independent streak and an enormous mass of orange hair, is an unforgettable character who knows her mind and handles life with courage and aplomb. The inventively playful illustrations use small details to convey big emotions, sure to pull in children for a closer look. This book is full of the positive character education themes of self-respect, initiative, responsibility and teamwork. It also offers wonderful lessons on standing up for yourself, nonjudgment and finding friendships in unexpected places.