Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Talented Clementine

Pennypacker, Sara. 2007. The Talented Clementine.

First sentence: 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.

Clementine is back. For those that aren't familiar with this spunky, zany gem of a character visit my review of the first book, Clementine. The teacher's "exciting" announcement was the fact that the school was going to be raising money. The third and fourth graders will participate in this school-wide event by putting on a talent show. Almost every kid hears this news with joy. They're excited at the chance to show off--most want to do cartwheels as an act. But Clementine, well, Clementine is worried. She is not quite sure what her talent is. You can't really label the special talents she has.

Clementine is a wonderful narrator with a way for words. Note Clementine's exchange with her principal, Mrs. Rice.

"Come in," Principal Rice said. When she saw it was me, she held out her hand for the note from my teacher that would tell her what kind of chat we should have. We have done this a lot.
But today I just sat on the chair and started right in. "Which are smarter? Chimpanzees or orangutans?"
"That's an interesting question, Clementine," Mrs. Rice said. "Maybe you could ask the science teacher after you've told me what you're doing here."
"Also, I've been wondering what the difference is between smashed and crashed."
Mrs. Rice handed me her dictionary.
And then suddenly I didn't want to know anymore! That is the miracle about dictionaries!

Clementine's observations about herself and the world around her--her family, her classmates, her teachers, her principal--make for an entertaining, often funny read. I really can't recommend Clementine highly enough. This narrator has won my heart.

I'm lucky that way: astounding ideas are always popping into my head, and I don't even have to use my brains to get them there. (20)

And I love Clementine's question:

If a teacher can have a substitute teacher, how come a kid can't have a substitute kid? (84)

Pages: 137
Time Spent: About 40 minutes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait to read this one!!! I love the first!