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Clementine Paperback – February 15, 2008

99 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Clementine Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. 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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

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 Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Series: Clementine
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (February 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786838833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786838837
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 98 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have a bad habit when I read a book. If I'm reading a children's book (which, 19 out of 20 times is usually the case) and I hit on a passage that I think is especially amusing, I'll dog-ear the page. I know, I know. I'm a children's librarian. If ANYONE knows not to dog-ear pages it should be me. So to stop myself from this habit I've only been dog-earing the Advanced Readers Copies of books I review. Usually this isn't a problem. Then I read, "Clementine". I blame Sara Pennypacker personally for the fact that what was once a lovely little ARC is now a dog-eared-to-death series of bound pages. Sorry, Sara, but how could I help it? We're dealing with a book where if the infant brother of the main character says, "Go for a wok?" to her, he's referring to a game in which she puts him in the family's wok and spins him around real fast. I mean, how am I supposed to resist that? What we have here is one of the most amusing characters to grace the pages of children's literature in years. Engaging, mischevious, never ever dull, and topped off by illustrations by Marla Frazee, Pennypacker's early chapter book, "Clementine", is everything you could hope for in a story for kids. Finally, a character that can challenge Ramona Quimby for her throne.

Clementine can tell you right from the start when her week started going poorly. It all began when her best friend Margaret let Clementine cut her hair in the school bathroom. Margaret's always been jealous of her friend's bouncy red curls, so it makes perfect sense to Clementine to take the strongest red marker she has and color some curls onto Margaret's nearly bald head. That's the kind of kid Clementine is. She's always willing to go the extra mile.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jacquelyn G. Mitchard on October 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sara Pennypacker has created that rare marvel - a book about a little girl like so many little girls -- who "can't pay attention (code name ADHD) -- who is utterly charming and beguiling not just for parents BUT FOR KIDS THEMSELVES. My 7-and- 10-year-old daughters passed the CLEMENTINE test with flying colors, and keep repeating "But I was paying attention! I was paying attention to the bird outside the window!" This is an amazing, engaging book and should be an instant classic. I wish I had written it.

Jacquelyn Mitchard, author, THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN and CAGE OF STARS
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Diane Moody on October 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agree with Jaquelyn Mitchard's review and her statement, "I wish I'd written it!" I read about this book in Book Page from the local library and immediately put it on reserve - it wasn't even out yet! Mind you, I'm a 50-something empty nester! But I LOVE great children's books and this is DEFINITELY going to be a classic. Clementine is the gutsy, imaginative, free-spirited girl we all wanted to be. Author Sara Pennypacker is sheer genius! I laughed out loud all the way through and constantly found myself marveling at this phrase or that. Like this one - "I jumped up and gave my dad a kiss right where his beard stops being crunchy." Hilarious!

And if the characters and quirky scenarios and crazy plot lines weren't enough, Marla Freeze gives us the perfect pictures of Clementine in all her glory. An award-winning combination if ever there was one!

My kids are grown and off at college, but I've already decided to start a Clementine collection for my future grandchildren. Bravo, Pennypacker & Frazee! Bravo Clementine! Can't wait for the next one!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laura F. Lindell on February 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Life is one big roller-coaster, swooping entertainingly from zest and surprise to disappointment and disaster, from triumph to trouble and back again, for "after-eight-year-old" Clementine (her 8th birthday has just passed, so that makes her nine, right? - "well fine, after-eight.") Clementine delights in life's interesting happenings (many of which she catalyzes), before realizing retroactively that those events are actually problematic from others' perspectives. She likes to make exaggerated claims, before adjusting them slightly to better match reality. Clementine can't stand how her slightly-older and slightly-prudish friend Margaret bosses her around, yet generously goes to extremes to help her. Clementine even designs a red, drawn-on short spiky hairdo ("beautiful, like a dandelion") for Margaret when she's upset by glue in her once-long hair, later duplicating it on her own head (with green) so Margaret doesn't feel like an oddity. Clementine has quirky personality traits, such as a fear of anything "pointy", which she creatively copes with by immediately seeking out rounded objects, either real or imaginary, to counter the scary images. And since she doesn't think it's fair that her little brother wasn't named after a fruit as she was, she evens things out by calling him by any vegetable name that springs into her always-fertile mind: Broccoli, Spinach, Rutabaga, Radish, Zucchini...But as with Margaret, frustration doesn't overcome her generosity, and when little brother suggests, "Go for a wok?", Clementine proceeds to give him "a really good spin" in their, yes, wok.Read more ›
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