It’s gratifying to see one of our favorite third grade book characters back in a sequel that is just as funny as her fabulous first book, Clementine. She jumps right in with her chatty narration: “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.” Poor kid. Unlike her fourth grade friend and neighbor Margaret, who has a whole alphabet of talents to draw on for the upcoming Talent-Palooza, Night of the Stars, Clementine can’t think of even one thing she could do on stage. Sure, she’s great at art and math, and her dad says she is the queen of noticing things and is very empathetic to boot. Her attempts at juggling and tap dancing don’t quite pan out, and dad won’t let her bring her little brother for her “Elvis and the Laughing Dog” act. Don’t worry about Clementine. Her own organizational talents shine through on the night of the big show when she assists her formidable but understanding principal Mrs. Rice. Peel some clementines to eat and empathize with that unforgettable girl who “got stuck” with a fruit name.
We all have talents, no matter how small. Talk over with your kids what their best talents are. When I was a child, my sister and cousins would plan and put on an impromptu talent show after Thanksgiving dinner. Your next family gathering could be very amusing if you put the kids in charge of the entertainment.
Reviewed by JF.
Themes: BROTHERS AND SISTERS. FRIENDSHIP. HUMOR. SCHOOLS & SCHOOL STORIES.
Hyperion , 2007
Suggested Ages: 6-9