Reviews for Talented Clementine

Booklist Reviews 2007 March #2
Recommenders hoping to turn indifferent readers into voracious ones often reach first for solid, funny chapter-book series; this follow-up to Clementine (2006) proves that Pennypacker's deserves a place alongside those by Johanna Hurwitz, Beverly Cleary, and Megan MacDonald. Here, Clementine frets over her own role in the school talent show, while friend-enemy Margaret flaunts umpteen stage-ready skills. Sure, a child's inability to recognize her own "astoundishing" gifts is a familiar plotline, and some readers may long for a flashier area for observant, insightful Clementine to shine than is ultimately revealed (she is retroactively hailed as the show's director). But children will see their own experiences and foibles in Clementine's precise observations, such as this zinger regarding grown-ups' habit of proffering reference books instead of answering questions: "And then suddenly I did not want to know! That is the miracle of dictionaries!" Frazee's polished, warm-spirited line drawings, not all seen, capture the endearing idiosyncrasies of its heroine, who will equally charm returning readers and those meeting her for the first time. ((Reviewed March 15, 2007)) Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
Clementine isn't happy about being in the school talent show. On the night of the dreaded Talent-Palooza, Clementine finds her true skill: paying attention, in her own particular way. Readers of the eponymous first book will be happy to meet the same funny, empathetic girl they loved, now a bit more grown-up. Frazee's energetic dip pen and ink drawings capture Clementine's joys, worries, and earnestness. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2007 #3
Clementine, a cross between Joey Pigza and Ramona Quimby, is back, and she is not happy about her teacher's latest "exciting" idea. Clementine's school is raising money for the big spring trip, and the third- and fourth-graders are putting on a talent show as their fundraiser. Unfortunately, our heroine has no talents at all. None. Not singing or dancing or playing music or even hopping. Tap-dancing on home-nailed shoes or juggling household objects or making her brother laugh hysterically, though quite amusing, are not what her teacher or parents have in mind. But on the night of the dreaded Talent-Palooza, Clementine finds her true talent: paying attention, in her own particular way. Readers of the eponymous first book (rev. 1/07) will be happy to meet the same funny, open-eyed, empathetic girl they loved, now -- thankfully -- a bit more grown-up and acting more like an actual eight-year-old than a caricature of Junie B. Jones. Her understanding yet oh-so-realistic parents and patient but frazzled teachers ring true. The breathless, jumpy first-person narration has an immediacy that allows the reader a front-row seat. Frazee's frequent energetic pencil drawings capture all of Clementine's joy and worry and earnestness. New readers and listeners will cheer when Clementine discovers her talent and will eagerly await the next book about this "one of a kind" girl. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 March #1
What to do when all the third- and fourth-graders are putting on a talent show but you don't have a talent? That's Clementine's dilemma, and her mechanisms for escaping the talent show escalate into hilarity. Pennypacker once again demonstrates her keen insights into the third-grade mind with Clementine's priceless observations of the world around her: "At journal writing I did my idea. When I was done writing, I curled my hand over my sentence as if it were too private to share. Which is how you get a teacher to come and look at it." Clementine's quest for a talent includes gluing beer-bottle caps to the bottoms of her sneakers; juggling her mother's pocketbook, half-full coffee cup and her kitten, Moisturizer; and leashing her little brother as a prop. Even as Clementine's antics escalate, the narrative avoids the pitfall of deteriorating into slapstick with the constant reminders of her essential humanity. Every kid will understand her desperate desire not to look like a fool in front of her classmates, and they will find her very talented solution--achieved with a little help from her principal--enormously satisfying. (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 January #3
The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, illus. by Marla Frazee, brings back the third-grader that made such a splash in last season's Clementine (in our Best Books citation, PW called her "an eight-year-old whose spirit rivals Ramona and Judy Moody"). Here her teacher's announcement of a school talent show sends the heroine into a tizzy. (Hyperion, $14.99 144p ages 7-10 ISBN 978-0-7868-3870-7; Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2007 April

Gr 2-5-- In her second adventure, Clementine is the only untalented student in her third-grade class, with the talent show fast approaching. She hints that her family may be leaving Boston and moving to Egypt on Friday if her father takes the building manager job at the Great Pyramid, but her teacher just laughs. Her friend Margaret offers her tap-dancing lessons, but her improvised beer-cap tap shoes don't work. Her baby brother (variously called by vegetable names) always laughs when she sings like Elvis, but her parents veto the leash she needs to keep him on stage. It's Mrs. Rice, the principal, who finally shows everyone where the child's talents lie. Clementine is a true original, an empathetic human being with the observant eye of a real artist and a quirky, matter-of-fact way of expressing herself. Whether shopping for new shoes with her mother, saving the talent show, or dining with her parents at the Ritz-no-crackers restaurant, she is laugh-out-loud funny. Frazee's line drawings are plentiful and just right. Libraries will need multiple copies of this one, because early chapter-book readers will jump at the chance to spend another eventful week with Clementine.--Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN

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