Juicy Clementine



By Sara Pennypacker, Illustrated by Marla Frazee

Published by: Disney-Hyperion (September 12, 2006)

Available in: hardcover, paperback, audiobook CD, audible audio edition, Kindle, NOOK

At the time of this review there were six books in the Clementine series.



Clementine satisfies with a burst of deliciousness: character, tone, action, plot and goofy adorability. This is a grown-up Junie B. (yes, just a year or two, but still) without the annoying, obnoxious bits. It reads as fresh, original and worthy of the term ‘classic,’ even if it is a few years shy of ten.

And knowing boys will most likely not read this (there is a girl on the cover) seems a real shame. If they could get over the girl factor, they’d love it because the appeal is universal. There are misunderstandings of what adults think, say and do. There is the given that what adults know is often not the truth. And there is a very evil (but really not) principal. Elementary A+ in content.

The humor is past funny to sublime: Clementine’s younger brother is referred to each time with a different vegetable name (because he wasn’t named a fruit, of course), and there is a running haircut episode that builds comedy and drama to the max. It must be a rite of childhood for little girls to accidentally give themselves or their friends a bad, disastrous cut. In Clementine, the cut goes on for pages, with artful additions.

The artwork itself is rich and lustrous, with its deep black a compliment to the easy lines of the black and white drawings. There is a pigeons-flying-away illustration that will blow your socks (or bangs) off.

Clementine is perfectly ripe for the chapter book set.

What do you say teachers, parents and writers? Use the comment below and let’s chat….

6 thoughts on “Juicy Clementine

  1. Read this one aloud over the course of a week to my girls (4,6,8) at bedtime. It has some Ramona-style “a-peel”, but is much more relate-able for today’s girls. We were all laughing uncontrollably at several points. I would say the writing style is easier than my 8-year old (3rd grade) usually reads (she’s into Lemony Snickett just now), but too advanced for my kindergartner. The topics, however were right on for both. So many chapter books are too young or too mature – this hits the sweet spot.

  2. Awesome blog, Marty! Love the worm…you’ve got me hooked for sure.:)
    What a great idea to have a chapter book review focus…I’ve shared your site and will let everyone know!
    Sounds like a terrific chapter book…maybe I should get a copy for my 8 year old granddaughter.:)

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