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….