Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Clementine

Clementine

Sara Pennypacker
Illustrator:  Marla Frazee 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Disney-Hyperion, 2006   ISBN: 978-0786838820

Clementine's week does not begin well. At school on Monday her friend Margaret gets glue in her hair and she secretly goes to the bathroom to cut the offending mess off. In an effort to be helpful, Clementine cuts off the rest of Margaret's long brown hair so that all her hair will match the cut off bit. Needless to say this earns Clementine a trip to the principal's office. The principal cannot understand Clementine, and Clementine does her best to avoid listening to the principal. This situation is not a recipe for a successful relationship.

The week rapidly deteriorates when Clementine colors Margaret's hair using a red marker. All she wants to do is to make Margaret feel better about her short hair, but Margaret's mother gets very annoyed for some reason. So Clementine cuts off her own pretty red hair in a demonstration of solidarity. She even colors her hair – green. Then on Wednesday Clementine ends up in the principal's office again – for not sitting still.

What really makes Clementine unhappy, though she doesn't admit it to anyone, is that on Thursday she and Margaret have a fight. Margaret ignores Clementine after that, choosing to spend her time with another little girl. After everything that Clementine has done to be nice, this is just too much. Clementine wishes that her cat Polka Dottie were still alive. At least if Polka Dottie were around Clementine would have some companionship.

Will Clementine ever recover from this awful week? Why is it that everything she does goes wrong?

Young readers will definitely have a laugh or two as they read this book. Clementine's misfortunes are deliciously amusing and one can see why the little girl starts to feel a little down.

Written in the vernacular of an eight (or so) year old, the story is told entirely from Clementine's point of view and it is wonderfully entertaining to see the world through her eyes.

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