Great Illustrated Books

The Talented Clementine (Clementine series)

By Sara Pennypacker, Illustrated by Marla Frazee

Hyperion , 2007
Pages : 144
Suggested Ages: 6-9
ISBN: 9780786838707

It's gratifying to see one of our favorite third grade book characters back in a sequel that is just as funny as her fabulous first book, Clementine. She jumps right in with her chatty narration: "I have noticed that teachers get exciting confused with boring a lot. But when my teacher said, 'Class, we have an exciting project to talk about,' I listened anyway." Poor kid. Unlike her fourth grade friend and neighbor Margaret, who has a whole alphabet of talents to draw on for the upcoming Talent-Palooza, Night of the Stars, Clementine can't think of even one thing she could do on stage. Sure, she's great at art and math, and her dad says she is the queen of noticing things and is very empathetic to boot. Her attempts at juggling and tap dancing don't quite pan out, and dad won't let her bring her little brother for her "Elvis and the Laughing Dog" act. Don't worry about Clementine. Her own organizational talents shine through on the night of the big show when she assists her formidable but understanding principal Mrs. Rice. Peel some clementines to eat and empathize with that unforgettable girl who "got stuck" with a fruit name.

We all have talents, no matter how small. Talk over with your kids what their best talents are. When I was a child, my sister and cousins would plan and put on an impromptu talent show after Thanksgiving dinner. Your next family gathering could be very amusing if you put the kids in charge of the entertainment.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Cleary, Beverly. Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Morrow, 1981. ISBN-13: 978-0380709564

Duffey, Betsy. Spotlight on Cody. Viking, 1998. ISBN-13: 978-0141309873

Kline, Suzy. What's the Matter with Herbie Jones? Putnam, 1987. (And others in the Herbie Jones series.) ISBN-13: 978-0698119420

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody, M.D.: The Doctor Is In! Candlewick, 2004. (And others in the Judy Moody series.) ISBN-13: 978-0439743839

McDonald, Megan. Stink!: The Incredible Shrinking Kid. Candlewick, 2005. (And others in the Stink series.) ISBN-13: 978-0744593716

Park, Barbara. Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. Random House, 1993. (And others in the Junie B. Jones series.) ISBN-13: 978-0375841569

Critics have said

Whether shopping for new shoes with her mother, saving the talent show, or dining with her parents at the Ritz-no-crackers restaurant, she is laugh-out-loud funny. Frazee's line drawings are plentiful and just right. Libraries will need multiple copies of this one, because early chapter-book readers will jump at the chance to spend another eventful week with Clementine.
Mary Jean Smith, School Library Journal
Clementine's everyday dilemmas make this a novel that most kids will easily identify with, and as it is written from a first-person perspective, Clementine's dry humor and unusual outlook make this an especially entertaining school story.