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Utterly Me, Clarice Bean Hardcover – August 11, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-5-Fans of this irrepressible picture-book character will appreciate this expanded episode for chapter-book readers. Clarice and her best friend are collaborating on a project for school, showing what they have learned from a series of books about their favorite girl detective. When Betty fails to return to school, their teacher pairs Clarice with the worst boy in the class. As they work together on the assignment, she realizes that Karl has really good ideas and isn't such a bad guy. When Betty comes back (from having been whisked off to Russia with her parents), she feels left out. But then Karl is accused of stealing a trophy cup, Clarice turns detective, and the girls patch up their friendship. These amusing characters speak in a delightful, childlike language. Many passages are done in type that playfully swoops over the pages, as when the protagonist is describing a swimming and diving experience. Stylized, mixed-media illustrations appear throughout. For those who can't get enough of Junie B. Jones, Clarice Bean is an utterly entertaining alternative.
JoAnn Jonas, Chula Vista Public Library, San Diego, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-5. The intrepid heroine of three previous picture books makes her debut in full-length fiction. This time Clarice is having trouble with her obstreperous family, an irritating teacher, and a best friend who suddenly disappears. She draws solace from reading about girl-detective Ruby Redfort, who leads what Clarice considers a perfect life and inspires Clarice to use her own investigative skills to make some sense of her family, help out a classmate wrongly accused of stealing, and repair a misunderstanding with best friend Betty Moody. A funny, appealing individual who owns up to her shortcomings and tries her best, even if she doesn't always succeed, Clarice is an exceptionally strong character, and her story, delivered in deadpan, forthright prose, perfectly captures a child's voice in a way that will elicit laughter even from the grumpy. The frequent black line illustrations (some worked into the text) and the experimentation with word size and placement on the page are great carryovers from the picture books. A perfect choice for reading aloud or for newly independent chapter-book readers, this will utterly captivate a wide audience. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
I liked the descriptions of Clarice Bean, her family, friends and school mates. Everybody probably has known such people in their life times.
Clarice loves to read Ruby Redfort ace detective with her detective helper Hitch. Her friend Betty Moody loves the books as well and one day in school, they get an assignment to do a presentation about a book. Clarice at first is stumped for a choice; especially, when Betty mysteriously disappears.
In a stroke of imagination, she decides on the Redfort books and to her surprise she gets teamed up with the class troublemaker Karl Wrenbury since Betty is missing.
Mystery abounds as somebody floods the boys bathrooms, where did Betty go?, who stole a trophy, will the arch-nemesis Grace Grapello spoil the book project, Clarice's mother is acting strange and why is her brother Kurt a stranger to cleanliness becoming clean and talking to people?
This is a good book for a young girl. The wandering style and imagination of Clarice is fun. Especially with the wavy sentences and fun artwork.
If you are reading it; you have to try and imagine the character talking and read the same way! It will add to the story.
Overall it's a fun read. However, I found my girl getting confused at times when the story switched to a passage of Ruby Redfort.
On to the next book!
Clarice has long blonde hair , a tan complexion, and she has pale blue eyes.
Clarice tries to tell Kyle, but he won't listen or she gets scared. In school Clarice finds she has a nice teacher, but instead she got sick so she has the mean teacher from last year. Clarice is mad, but she is getting good grades. She hopes Kyle will be her friend, but she doesn't know if he will.
Klem invites Clarice to go to her birthday party. She refuses to go to the birthday party. Clarice's sister Maurcie flooded the bathroom and now it has a hole in the floor. Now Clarice has a new room in the attic. Clarice is so mad about the white walls and creaky floors. She is excited a little because she can draw on the walls.
I love this book so much. I would recommend this book to any one who loves to laugh a lot.
Clarice and her best friend Betty Moody love the mystery series with heroine Ruby Redfort, so it seems natural that they would use the Redfort books for a school project.
Now that seems simple enough, but then Betty goes missing - and Clarice and the school's problem child are paired together for the book project. Clarice doesn't initially like the pairing, but as she and Karl work together, she realizes that he's got great ideas and is really pretty nice.
The problems begin when Betty returns and becomes jealous of the relationship that has developed between Clarice and Karl. When the project trophy disappears, Karl is accused of stealing it. Clarice is determined to solve the mystery and clear Karl's name. Is she successful in solving the mystery? And what about the friendship between Clarice and Betty?
I enjoyed the characters, the life-like feelings of a child about her life. The illustrations are entertaining. On some pages the writing streams and swirls around the page. This is a grand book for children between the ages of 7-10. Armchair Interviews suggests parents, grandparents read this together with the important children in their lives. It will be a wonderful time spent together.