Review of Clementine and the Spring Trip, by Sara Pennypacker

Clementine and the Spring Trip

by Sara Pennypacker
pictures by Marla Frazee

Disney Hyperion Books, 2013. 160 pages.
Starred Review

Clementine’s back! In this, her sixth book, we’re taken through Clementine’s 3rd grade year. I’m almost sad to see her maturing as the series goes. She doesn’t really get into any trouble in this book. In fact, her teacher asks her to partner with the new girl, Olive, on the class’s Spring Field Trip to Plimouth Plantation.

And there’s plenty of elementary school drama. Clementine’s class is forced to ride the dreaded Bus Seven.

I have only taken Bus Seven one time, but one time was enough, let me tell you. If you took all the terrible-smelling things you could think of and mixed them together and let them rot for a good long time, it would smell like roses compared to The Cloud. The smell gets worse with every step you take toward the back of the bus, except that it gets a little better at the very last row, but that might be just because at the very last row you can smell the exhaust. Bus exhaust smells like roses too, compared to The Cloud.

On the field trip, the third graders have to eat with the fourth graders, and Margaret warns Clementine that the fourth graders have rules against eating anything noisy.

Rules and worries and the new girl and the disgusting smell all have a part to play in a satisfying story about our irrepressible third grade friend.

This book doesn’t stand out in my mind, because I’m getting used to the high quality of the series. I’m booktalking the whole series this year simply by reading aloud a small section from this book. This whole series makes highly enjoyable reading, with plenty of lively pictures and a way of looking at the world not quite like anyone else’s.

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

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