Thursday, January 24, 2008
The Talented Clementine
Pennypacker, Sara. 2007. THE TALENTED CLEMENTINE. Ill. by Marla Frazee. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 9780786838707 [Suggested Reading Levels 2-5]
Clementine’s second adventure centers around her school talent show, and the difficulty Clementine encounters in trying to find a suitable talent to display. Clementine is gifted in several areas, but none of them lend themselves to performance. When her good friend Margaret offers to teach her to tap dance, Clementine cobbles her own tap shoes by super-gluing beer bottle caps to the soles of her sneakers, with typically disastrous results. But Clementine’s gifts for problem-solving and empathy save the day—and the talent show—in the end.
Pennypacker gives Clementine an irrepressible voice, beginning with the very first line: “I have noticed that teachers get exciting confused with boring a lot.” Marla Frazee’s pen-and-ink illustrations are equally fresh and funny. Even the copyright page is interesting; Frazee shows Clementine dropping under the weight of her to-the-point-of-exploding backpack in two funny sketches. This early chapter book will be a favorite of young readers.
Put on an instant talent show!
If the children in your group know one another well, have them identify at least one talent about each other, and make certificates or a chart classifying all the different talents.
Other books about spunky young girls:
Cleary, Beverly. RAMONA THE PEST. ISBN 0688217214
Gifford, Peggy. MOXY MAXWELL DOES NOT LOVE STUART LITTLE. ISBN 9780375839153
Pennypacker, Sara. CLEMENTINE. ISBN 9780786838820
By Julie Brinker