Seven-year-old Clementine does too pay attention, though not necessarily in class.  She’s got more important things to do, like helping her friend Margaret finish cutting her hair in the girls’ bathroom—all the way to stubble—and then cutting off her own so Margaret won’t feel embarrassed.    Or finding out if Mrs. Rice, the school principal, has tattoos.  Or trying new ways  to keep the pigeons from messing up the front of her apartment building.  Or spinning her little brother across the kitchen floor in a wok—but only once, since twice makes him throw up (this is called Being Responsible).

But when Margaret’s mother calls Clementine a difficult child, she starts worrying that her family doesn’t think she’s worth the trouble.  She tries to clean up her act, but is it too little, too late? 

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker is a celebration of all kids who have trouble thinking in a straight line,  and the adults who appreciate them, quirks and all.  Great writing is accompanied by delightful illustrations by Marla Frazee;  the combination is sure to keep you and your kids entertained.  There are three more Clementine books if you enjoy the first one as much as we did:  The Talented Clementine, Clementine’s Letter, and Clementine, Friend of the Week.  Check one out today from the Davenport Public Library!

– Sarah Wesson

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