Clementine

by Sarah Pennypacker
ages: 7-10
First sentence: “I have had not so good of a week.”

Since C has abandoned our nightly reading sessions in favor of her own reading time, I’ve been feeling a bit lonely. I like reading aloud. Then it occurred to me: A is 5, she’s starting kindergarten, I could read to her!

We conferred, she was willing, and we settled on a book: Clementine.

I’ve read the third in the series, which works well as a stand-alone, but hadn’t read any of the others. You don’t need to start at the beginning, but it doesn’t hurt. And that way you can fall in love with Clementine properly. Because she is an absolute dear. One of those characters that I want to wrap up and put in my pocket.

Clementine’s been having a bad week. She was sent to the principal’s office Monday for cutting her friend Margaret’s hair — and she was only trying to help! — and it only got worse. But, honestly, what I really loved were the little things like ideas sproinging into her head, or her myriad of names for her little brother (like Radish and Zucchini and Lima Bean — if she got stuck with a fruit name, why shouldn’t he have a vegetable name), or her desire to do things right but they always come out wrong. As I said, she’s an absolute dear.

And A loved her, too. She couldn’t wait until reading time, and didn’t want to stop once we started. She adored Clementine, she loved looking at the pictures, and while some of the humor went over her head, she found enough to enjoy.

Which is why we’re reading the next book now.

Buy it at Amazon, Powell’s, or your local independent bookstore.

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