Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Clementine's Letter

by Sara Pennypacker

Clementine has finally figured 3rd grade out. She and her teacher have devised some "codes" to help her remember to focus an other such things. Sadly, her teacher has been nominated to go to Egypt for the school year and leaves his class with a substitute in charge. Poor Clementine doesn't know any of the new rules and does her best to prevent her teacher from winning the contest.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before how much I love Clementine. She is simply fabulous. The library only had a CD of this third installment (why do libraries do that? Do people really prefer the book on tape to the actual book that much more?), so I listened to this one. I have to admit that I didn't love the narrator, Jessica Almast. I think most of the problem was that Ms. Almast is an adult and she just couldn't capture Clementine's third grade spirit.

Other than the narration though, I really liked this book. I love how clever and creative Clementine is - even when she's not trying to be or being mischievous. I think one of my favorite descriptions in a book ever is her describing Antiques Roadshow. (remember I listened to it, so these won't be exact quotes)

"My parent's favorite show is a show about junk. These people take their junk and sit in a room. Then the host comes and tells them if their junk is worth anything. Sometimes he says 'oh, this would have been worth so much if you hadn't fixed it up' and the people say something like 'oh, it's ok, we still love our junk.'"

She goes on to describe the whole thing, and I thought it was so funny. She ends by declaring this show B-O-R-I-N-G, Boring! I love seeing the world through her eyes.

I also really like Clementine's parents. We don't really see much of them, but they are supportive and around. I like that they try to work with her instead of always getting angry when she gets into mischief (which is a lot). I like that they are normal(ish). I just like them.

If you enjoy books aimed at the younger crowd (2-4th grade or so), I highly recommend you check out the Clementine series.

4 out of 5 stars.


Chain Reader said...

My daughter loves these but I haven't read them yet myself. They sound really good.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. Too adorable for words. But I don't think I would like it on CD. The illustrations is what made me fall so hard for the series. Marla Frazee is a genius!

KT said...

Chain - I think you will like them. They're definately a quick read.

Natasha - I agree. The pictures really help make the books - I picked up the first one simply based on the picture of Clementine of the cover. I will try to find book versions from now on...