Sara Pennypacker - Clementine

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Clementine Has A Unique Way Of Looking At The World

May 6, 2013 (Updated May 9, 2013)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Clementine always tries her best, very funny book

Cons:Clementine is a little spirited

The Bottom Line: My kindergarten daughter loves all the books in the Clementine series.


My oldest daughter just turned 6, and she and I love to read.  I try to read to her every night.  She has recently discovered the Clementine books.  I discovered them a couple of years ago, but she was not interested in having the books read to her until a couple of months ago. 

The first book in the Clementine series is simply called, Clementine.  We are immediately introduced to the titular Clementine, who recounts her not-so-good week.  Trouble for Clementine starts almost immediately when she cuts her friend’s hair.  She does this to help- Margaret had trimmed her hair because she got glue in it, and things ended up uneven.  So, because she wants to be a good friend and help, Clementine agrees to cut Margaret’s hair.  Of course, this does not go over well with the principal and Margaret’s mother.  Clementine tries to make amends by cutting her own hair so that Margaret will not be the only one without hair, but this does not have the intended effect.  Meanwhile, Clementine begins to worry that her family is planning to get rid of her because of all the trouble she has caused.  Can she make things better before it is too late?

My daughter and I both loved Clementine.  Clementine is a modern day Ramona Quimby.  She is spunky, spirited, and clever.  She tends to see the world in a unique way, and she has very wry observations about the world around her.  She has many bon mots, but here is a quick one-

“There is a look that they teach you in principal school that is not very nice.” 


Clementine has several running jokes.  She has a younger brother.  We don’t know what his name is because Clementine keeps calling him by different vegetable names.  She thinks that if she gets stuck with a fruit name, it’s only fair for him to get stuck with a vegetable name.    

My daughter laughed out loud with every chapter.  She also enjoys looking at the illustrations that are peppered throughout the book.  As a parent, I am always looking for good role models for my daughter.  Clementine is far from a model child, but she has her reasons for doing what she does.  Clementine is refreshingly honest, but never sassy or rude.  Clementine sees things in a slightly different way; when she is told that she needs to be paying attention, Clementine proclaims that she WAS paying attention, and that’s how she knows that the lunchlady and the janitor were kissing in the parking lot.  Again.  That’s Clementine for you! 

I would highly recommend Clementine.  My kindergarten girl loves the Clementine books, and I think this series would appeal to children 5-8.    There is a lot of humor, and some suspense regarding Clementine’s suspicions that her parents are planning to get rid of her.  I’m not going to give away the ending, but needless to say, Clementine is not sent away forever because she is a little troublesome. 


Recommend this product? Yes

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