Clementine’s Letter

December 24, 2008

So far in Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine series there are three books:  Clementine, The Talented Clementine, and Clementine’s Letter.  I wasn’t that crazy about Clementine, but I have thoroughly enjoyed The Talented Clementine, which I read a few days ago, and Clementine’s Letter, which I finished tonight.  She is a clever, spunky, young girl, who cannot help getting into all kinds of trouble, even though most of the time her intentions are good.  The books are very funny with the various situations Clementine gets herself into.  In the latest, she has trouble at school adjusting to a substitute teacher and the idea that her regular teacher may not be there for the rest of the year.

One of the best parts of the whole series is the various nicknames Clementine uses for her baby brother.  Since she was given a food name, she thinks her brother should have one too.  Every time she refers to him, she has a new vegetable nickname:  Squash, Water Chestnut, Spinach, Scallion, Bok Choy, Cabbage, Broccoli, etc.  I’m not sure his real name is ever used in any of the books.  That’s just a taste of how amusing these books are.  I highly recommend them especially to fans of Judy Moody by Megan McDonald, another great middle reader series.


Bats at the Library

December 23, 2008

Two batwings up for Bats at the Library, written and illustrated by Brian Lies.  It came out this year and has been on lots of best-books lists.  The story, written with fun rhythm and rhyme, is super cute:  Bats discover that a librarian has left a window open to the public library, and since they love to learn, they fly in to read books all night.  The pictures are beautiful, and there’s lots of clever literary references, particularly when the bats get “lost” in the book during storytime.

Brian Lies has several other books out, including another featuring the friendly bats – Bats at the Beach.  I will definitely be checking that one out soon!