A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the main character, Clementine, is a precocious third-grader who frequently gets into mischief, though with the good intention to solve problems. In one week she "fixes" her friend's hair by cutting it all off, helps out the principal by answering her phone, and pays attention in class by watching the janitor embrace the lunch lady. A wide age range will enjoy this book and enjoy reading it aloud, from the emergent kindergartner reader up to third graders.
What's the story?
CLEMENTINE covers one week in the life of the precocious third-grader Clementine. At school she \"helps\" Margaret, a friend and neighbor, by cutting and coloring her hair. Neither the principal nor the girl's mother are amused, and eventually the two girls stop speaking to each other.
At home Clementine helps her father battle pesky pigeons. Mourning the loss of her cat, she also is convinced her parents are going to trade her in. In the end, hair begins to grow back, friendships are mended, Clementine's parents address her fears and treat her to a big surprise.
Is it any good?
CLEMENTINE fits right in with Ramona, Sheila-the-Great, and Pippy Longstocking -- and Sara Pennypacker has mastered the art of believable dialogue out of the mouths of kids. Despite all of Clementine's challenges, the reader also knows that she'll land on her feet or more likely, in the arms of loving parents. What's more, pen-and-ink drawings by Marla Frazee beautifully complement both silly and tender passages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how and why Clementine's good intentions lead her to the principal's office. Does she feel misunderstood? Is she frustrated with others around her who are frustrated with her? Parents can discuss the relationship between Margaret and Clementine. What was the reason for their disagreement and how did they arrive at forgiving each other? Parents can also point out Clementine's way of understanding what's happening around her through the process of sketching.