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Clementine (Clementine
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About the Author

Sara Pennypacker was a painter before becoming a writer, and has two absolutely fabulous children who are now grown. She has written several books, including Clementine, The Talented Clementine, and Clementine's Letter, illustrated by Marla Frazee; Stuart's Cape and Stuart Goes to School, both illustrated by Martin Matje, and Dumbstruck. Sara lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Marla Frazee did the illustrations for the first two books in the Clementine series. She is author/illustrator of Walk On!, Santa Claus the World's Number One Toy Expert, and Roller Coaster. She is also the illustrator of The Seven Silly Eaters, Everywhere Babies, and a bunch of other books. Marla works in a small backyard cabin under an avocado tree in Pasadena, California.

Reviews

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.

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.

"Give this to readers of Cleary and Blume and cross your fingers for more."
"Fans of Judy Moody will welcome this portrait of another funny, independent third-grader."

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