"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
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.
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.
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)
Praise for the Clementine series: A New York Times Bestseller Winner of 2008 Rhode Island Children's Book Award Winner of 2008 William Allen White Children's Book Award Winner of the 2007 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Winner of 2008 Great Lakes Great Books Award Winner of the 2007 Josette Frank Book Award Winner of the 2007 Sid Fleishman Award A 2006 School Library Journal Best Book of Year A 2006 Child Magazine Best Book of Year A 2006 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year A 2006 National Parenting Publication Gold Award Winner A 2006 Nick Jr. Family Magazine's Best Book of the Year A 2006 Miami Herald Best Book of the Year *"A delightful addition to any beginning chapter-book collection."—School Library Journal, starred review *"Along with humorous bits, Pennypacker seamlessly weaves into the narrative common third-grade themes...Fans of Judy Moody will welcome this portrait of another funny, independent third-grader."—Publishers Weekly, starred review *"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. Give this to readers of Cleary and Blume and cross your fingers for more."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Move over, Ramona, Judy Moody, and Junie B.! Clementine, an imaginative third-grader and a great and loyal friend, has arrived. Clementine constantly hears reminders from teachers and the principal to “pay attention.” Clementine knows she does pay attention . . . better than anyone else, including the adults. “Okay, fine,” her attention is on the wrong things, but her motivations are simply creative attempts to be helpful. Jessica Almasy gives voice to this friendly, funny kid. Almasy sounds like a third-grader with a story to tell, bringing the precocious, ingenious Clementine to life. Her voice has the tone, pitch, and tempo of a third-grade girl struggling to do the right thing, truly S-O-R-R-Y when things go wrong, and in the end better than “Okay . . . Fine!” N.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine