Completely Clementine: Sara Pennypacker + Marla Frazee
April 14, 2015
Book: Completely Clementine
Author: Sara Pennypacker
Illustrator: Marla Frazee
Age Range: 6-8
Clementine is back, and despite nearing the end of her third grade year, she remains Completely Clementine. In this installment Clementine is looking forward to the imminent birth of her new younger brother or sister, and to summer vacation. But her happiness is tainted by two things: her sadness at leaving the classroom of her beloved teacher, Mr. D'Matz; and her disagreement with her father over the eating of meat. As Completely Clementine begins, Clementine is giving her father the silent treatment, and neither one of them is happy about it. She's also trying to get Mr. D'Matz "promoted" to teach fourth grade, but neither he nor the school principal is buying it.
But in other ways, Clementine is the same. She still calls her brother by an assortment of vegetable names. She wants the new baby to have a name that's an object of some sort. She still spends time with friend and neighbor Margaret, despite their two very different personalities, and she is still "NOT" in love with Margarets's older brother, Mitchell. Here she is upon seeing Mitchell dressed up for his mother's wedding:
"And I still couldn't speak. I felt really strange. I felt ... at first, I couldn't even think of a word to describe it.
And then I did: gozzled.
Which could N-O-T, not be right, because I did N-O-T, not love Mitchell.
But then, luckily, I figured it out When Mitchell says the word baseball, you can practically see the love stars beaming out from his chest. Because I was standing right in front of him, I must have gotten hit with some of them. (Page 115-117)
Marla Frazee's illustrations, as always, bring Clementine and her family and friends to life, particularly in little sketches that show the characters' moods via their expressions and posture. Frazee knows Clementine through and through by this point, as do loyal readers. I think that Sara Pennypacker is doing a nice job of having Clementine (and her brother, and Margaret) develop just the tiniest bit from book to book. They aren't fixed, but they aren't changing rapidly enough to be off-putting to young fans who gobble their way through the series.
Completely Clementine is, perhaps, a touch lighter than some of the other books in the series, and with a compressed one-week time frame. This makes it a perfect summer read for six and sever year old fans (and for forty-something fans like myself). It has all of the trademark humor found in the other books, as well as what is sure to be a relevant plotline for many, about dealing with parent-child disagreements.Highly recommended!
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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