From School Library Journal
Grade 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
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As Clementine says, "Spectacularful ideas are always sproinging up in my brain." All the better for readers who like to laugh. Reminiscent of both Ramona and Junie B. Jones, Clementine is an ingenuous third-grader with a talent for trouble and a good heart. Her best friend is her neighbor Margaret, a fourth-grader who experiences both qualities firsthand. After all, plenty of kids may have had their hair chopped off by a helpful friend in an effort to get the glue out, but how many of those friends would think to improve matters by drawing hair back
on the scalp, forehead, and neck with a Flaming Sunset permanent marker? "It looked beautiful, like a giant tattoo of tangled worms," Clementine observes in the fresh, funny, first-person narrative. Frazee's expressive ink drawings capture every nuance of the characters' emotions, from bemusement to anger to dejection. Sometimes touching and frequently amusing, this engaging chapter book is well suited to reading alone or reading aloud to a roomful of children. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved