Review: “The Talented Clementine”

cover - 'The Talented Clementine' by Sara PennypackerClementine is such a lovable child. She is cute, funny, refreshingly honest, sometimes naive, but always adorable. The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker with Marla Frazee‘s illustrations is quite an amusing book.

Clementine thinks she has no talent that will give her the opportunity to perform with her classmates in the third and fourth grader’s Talent-Palooza, Night of the Stars show. While her classmates are rehearsing their acts – doing cartwheels, hula hooping, playing piano, talking about fashion, and performing a duet with a dog, – Clementine is trying to gracefully avoid taking part. When she finally discovers a talent – being able to make her little brother laugh, her father nixes the idea of performing with the infant on stage. Clementine is heartbroken, the show will have to go on without her, but in the end the show will not be able to go on without her.

I loved that Clementine would volunteer to go to the Principal’s office; whenever Clementine thought it was likely her teacher would soon be sending her there anyway.

There is an immense amount of wisdom in this book. Here are a couple quotes I loved: “I’m lucky that way: astoundishing ideas are always popping into my head, and I don’t even have to use my brains to get them there.”

“I saw something else with my amazing corner-eyes.”

“But he ignored me, which is called Getting on with the Day when a teacher does it, and Being Inconsiderate when a kid does it.”

Marla Frazee’s illustrations are cute and realistic, so much so that I Clementine looked like a third grader I know, complete with reddish curly hair.


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