Reviews for Clementine's Letter


Booklist Reviews 2008 April #1
Popular Clementine returns, with a problem on her hands. Her teacher, Mr. D'Matz,  has been nominated to take part in a program that may win him a trip to Egypt, meaning he'll be gone for the rest of the year. Trouble starts immediately. Mr. D'Matz leaves for a week of training, and the substitute just doesn't understand the arrangements Clementine's worked out with her teacher to make life easier for them both. So unhappy is she about Mr. D'Matz's possible departure that when the class is asked to write supportive letters to the selection committee, she goes a different way--a much different way. Although occasionally Clementine sounds more like Pennypacker than herself, books in this series tie together all the elements that make the best middle-grade fiction: realistic families, the ups and downs of school life, and an awareness of a how a kid's mind works. Clementine is a kissing cousin to Beverly Cleary's Ellen Tebbits and Ramona Quimby, and Frazee's perfect line drawings make this link even stronger. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
Just as Clementine's getting the hang of third grade, she learns her teacher may go study in Egypt. Clementine tries sabotage, but she redeems herself at the end. This may be the best series entry so far, as Pennypacker continues to develop her ingenious but impulsive character. Frazee's black-and-white drawings show Clementine's highly charged emotions and her capacity for creating chaos. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #4
Just as the bouncy Clementine is finally getting the hang of third grade, with the help of her very understanding teacher, she learns that he is a finalist in a contest to study in his beloved Egypt. While he is away for a preliminary week, Clementine immediately gets into difficulties with the substitute. "I can't guess Mrs. Nagel's rules...She doesn't tell them until it's too late and I'm already in trouble." Clementine tries to sabotage her teacher's trip by writing a negative letter to the award committee, but she redeems herself at the end. Subplots involve Clementine's selling-off of her neighbors' charity donations and a notebook she and her building-superintendent dad use to write a story together. This may be the best entry so far in the series, as Pennypacker develops her ingenious but impulsive character with less reliance on cutesy phrases in Clementine's narration. And Frazee's line drawings go a little further this time in showing Clementine's highly charged emotions and her capacity for creating chaos in her surroundings. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 March #2
Clementine's only just "getting the hang of third grade"--she hasn't been sent to Principal Rice's office for a whole week--when her world turns upside-down: Her beloved Teacher is a finalist for an Adventures for Teachers award, and if he wins, he'll be gone for the rest of the year. As it is, he's absent for a week to prepare, and life with his substitute does not go well. Mrs. Nagel doesn't know any of the tricks Teacher did that helped to keep Clementine "in sync" with the classroom, so when Principal Rice asks the children to write letters of nomination to the award committee, Clementine sees her opportunity to sabotage his success. Pennypacker and Frazee have this latter-day Ramona down to a T, her distinctive voice and unruly curls happily unblunted by familiarity. The great success of this outing, however, lies in the warmth of the relationship between Clementine and Teacher, whose humane and sympathetic understanding of his admittedly difficult scholar will strike a welcome chord with readers, especially those out-of-sync students and their teachers. (Fiction. 7-11) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 July

Gr 2-4-- Irrepressible and delightful Clementine is back. She is enjoying third grade--she is in sync with her teacher, Mr. D'Matz, and is rarely sent to speak with Principal Rice, a major accomplishment in her school life. Then Mr. D'Matz is selected as one of three finalists for an Adventures for Teachers archaeological dig in Egypt and leaves for a week to meet with the committee. Clementine is distraught to learn that if chosen as the winner, he will be gone for the rest of the school year. When the substitute arrives, Clementine learns that she has to follow completely different rules. The next week is not an easy one for the child as she adjusts to Mrs. Nagel, worries about losing Mr. D'Matz, copes with her everyday life as an impulsive eight-year-old, and frets about the letter she is supposed to write to the prize committee about her teacher. Through it all, she shines with a vibrant spirit that can never be completely extinguished, even when she is feeling down. Frazee's pen-and-ink drawings perfectly capture Clementine's personality and her world.--Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA

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