Review of The Talented Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker

The Talented Clementine

by Sara Pennypacker
Pictures by Marla Frazee

Hyperion Paperbacks for Children, New York, 2007. 137 pages.
Starred Review

I’m hooked on Clementine, and am so happy I finally discovered her. In this second book about her, her third grade class is going to put on a talent show. But Clementine does not think she has any talents that could be displayed in a show. Not like Margaret, whose fourth grade class will also be taking part. Margaret has talents to spare.

This book is full of Clementine’s hilarious attempts to find an act, with an unexpected and satisfying solution.

Once again, Marla Frazee’s brilliant illustrations add to the characterization of Clementine and her friend Margaret. Even before the book begins, we see Clementine walking to the bus with a loaded backpack — until she is overcome by the weight of it and must crawl.

I love the first paragraph, which gives you a taste of Clementine’s way of thinking:

“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.”

This book is exciting and fun. And I’m not a teacher.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.

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