Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker pictures by Marla Frazee

In 2009 I talked about Clementine.  We have the whole series in our library now including the latest installment and seventh Completely Clementine.

Sara Pennypacker has created a such a memorable character with little Clementine.  This is one of those books where you really 'hear' the character's voice and this lingers with you long after reading.

The Clementine books are perfect for students in Grades 2-4.  As this book opens the end of Grade Three is looming and Clementine is upset.  She does not like to say goodbye, she does not want to leave her special teacher Mr D'Matz and she is especially upset with her dad because she thinks everyone should be a vegetarian.

The fight against her dad eating meat is such a funny and poignant thread through the whole story.  Clementine has decided she will not talk to her dad - she will give him the 'silent treatment' but she also needs to communicate her feelings so each day she presents her dad with a different drawing :
Crying Cow, Terrified Clam, Thanksgiving tragedy and Petrified Piglets.  Sadly, for Clementine, these heart-felt and graphic pictures do not seem to affect her father.  Her mum explains:

"I want to talk to you about this feud you're having with your father.'
'The sad-animal drawings?'
'No, not those. I like that you're doing those, in fact.  You're presenting your side of something you care about.  That's what  artists do: when they care about something, they make art about it.  And sometimes their art makes other people care too, although sometimes it doesn't.  The problem is the other thing: your not speaking to him."

I highly recommend the Clementine series.  You might like to read this review from Kirkus.  Here are some other junior series worth exploring.

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