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Text © 2006
by Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated © 2006
by Marla Frazee
A New York Times Bestseller
2008 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award (Grades 3-6)
2008 William Allen White Children’s Book Award – KS (Grades 3-5)
2007 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Winner
2008 Great Lakes Great Books Award Winner
Winner of the 2007 Josette Frank Book Award (Bank Street College Book Committee)
Winner of the 2007 Sid Fleishman Award (SCBWI.org)
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2006
A 2006 Child Magazine Best Book of the Year
New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
A 2006 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A 2006 National Parenting Publication Gold Award Winner
A Book Sense Winter 2006-2007 Children’s Top Ten Pick
A 2006 Nick Jr. Family Magazine’s Best Book of the Year
A Miami Herald Best Book of the Year 2006
WHY CLEMENTINE IS A KEM GEM
Clementine always has “great ideas popping into her head.” She’s like a balloon, exalted up, and then POP, life deflates and she’s back to square one. Sara Pennypacker brilliantly invites the reader to share Clementine’s ups and downs, by showing the reader how the precocious Clementine thinks, through detailed action that is followed by the protagonist’s reflection.
If I had to draw a balloon to depict Clementine, it’d be orange. The balloon would have a happy face drawn with “sparkle glitter paint” on one side and a sad face on the opposite side, drawn in permanent Red marker. Around the entire drawing would be a window for the reader to look through.
I am in awe of Marla Frazee’s ability to capture Clementine’s energy. Her fine-lined sketches convey curiosity with a wrinkle in a shirt, swirl of a lock and lift of a brow. She makes the impossible look easy.
CLEMENTINE felt like catching up with an old friend. I, too, had an oh-so-perfect neighbor girl, an “easy” younger sibling, an artist mom, and a dad who dealt with pesky animals* and their splat.
Sara Pennypacker’s descriptions give readers a colorful, hilarious view of Clementine’s world, and her daily, eight-year-old antics and frustrations.
Marla Frazee’s pen and ink drawings offer a visual treat on nearly every page. Her clean, graphic line carries Clementine’s energy through the story and, as with all of Frazee’s work, looks like she just whipped it up over breakfast.
This gem, just published in 2008, has the classic charm of a book that has already stood the test of time.
*Ours were cattle, not pigeons.
“Then we just sat there together watching the pigeons flock back to our building for the night. We listened to them cooing above us, sounding like a million old ladies with secrets.”
Writer friend Melissa quoted Clementine at a recent meet-up: “Someone should tell you not to answer the phone in the principal’s office, if that’s a rule.” Admiration spittle (mine) dribbled on my manuscript.
Sara Pennypacker created a believable, delightful protagonist in a universe where “Go for Wok?” leads to a sibling bonding ritual and magic marker heals hair disasters. Clementine’s thoughtful distractions amuse and disarm people of all ages–even her best friend’s older brother–a formidable feat for a third grader.
Marla Frazee’s wit and talent complements Sara’s. Her personality-packed illustrations lift Clementine to a whole new level of cute.
“… I carried the kittens into the bathroom and looked around until I found them beautiful names. Flouride and Laxative went to live with people who answered the Free Kittens, Hurry! ad my dad put in the paper …”
BOOK TRAILER (by Briana Bancroft)
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