Reading Nook | Clementine
Here in the Reading Nook it MIGHT seem that we have only have shelves full of picture books for the littles. Not true. Not by a longshot. But I do admit that we have been a tad remiss in not recommending chapter books for your older kids. Today we have the remedy with a book that is a big hit around our place.
Chapter books are tricky for a few reasons. First, they have to appeal to a wide range of kids – from those that are not yet reading but are old enough to move beyond picture books to those reading handily on their own. Think 5 year olds to 9 years of age. That’s a large range developmentally. And second, just like picture books for littles, there are many more poorly written, formulaic chapter books than there are good ones. We’ve all seen them at the book shop – the long series with the identical plots. I cannot stress this enough – kids DESERVE well written books. We all do!
Well, here’s one that you will enjoy just as much as your kids. It’s Clementine, a precocious 3rd grader with a heart of gold who is allergic to sitting still. She may get into trouble but it’s only because of her creative approaches to solving her best friend’s problems. I won’t give away either the problem OR the solution but there are scissors and Sharpies involved.
Author Sara Pennypacker has a brilliant way of getting into the mind of an eight year old. She hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be young. Illustrator Marla Frazee adds to the story with her charming line drawings of Clementine. You might have seen her illustrations in another favorite book of mine, The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman. Frazee has been teaching childrens’ book illustration in Pasadena for 20 years.
This book has won more awards than I can list and luckily there are five in the series with a sixth on the way. Your kids will want to read all of them!