Monday, April 8, 2013

Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker

150 p. Hyperion Books for Children, March, 2013. 9781423123576. (purchased)

It's spring in Boston. And that means that Clementine's friend, Margaret is going crazy with spring cleaning, including scrubbing Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings (the bronze sculptures in Boston Public Gardens). Her mom's belly is getting bigger with baby number 3 and she and her dad have a secret. They are building a five-sided table to accommodate their growing family. Her spring trip to Plimoth Plantation is looming as well. The big question in everyone's mind is whether the class will be stuck on bus #7. That, and what kind of lunch to bring on the trip due to the eating rules imposed by the fourth graders. Oh, and what to do about Olive, the new girl.

Ah, Clementine, Clementine, one of my favorite literary characters is back! Woo-hoo! Need I tell you that I absolutely adore Clementine? I first met Clementine way back in 2006, I was in a K - 8 school and read the first chapter to all my classes. For the younger ones because she was just perfect and for the older ones for the same reason and to hammer home the concept of voice. I have to say the older students were as interested in reading the rest of the book as the younger.

I was very happy to see that Clementine books were part of the collection when I made the move to a 5 - 8th grade middle school in 2008. I read the last two Clementine books with my ears and while Jessica Almasy did a great job of bringing Clementine to life, I really missed the spot art by Marla Frazee. 

Clementine's voice remains hysterical, but she is beginning to show some insight and some self-restraint. I continue to adore Mrs. Rice, Clementine's principal, as well as Margaret. And, I would really love to know what Clementine's little brother's name is.

My only criticism of this one is the timeline of the the class trip. Clementine goes to Plymouth Rock, Plimoth Plantation and, the Mayflower. In that order. Then, they seem to go back to Pimoth Plantation for lunch. Hm-m. 

Our seventh grade goes to Boston each year. We spend one jam-packed day in Boston, sleep in a hotel just outside of Boston, then we head down to Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower before hitting Plimoth Plantation the next day. There is no way any self-respecting class trip planner would go to Plymouth Rock, head to Plimoth Plantation, then go to the Mayflower and back to Plimoth Plantation for lunch. It doesn't make sense.

And, while I'm nit-picking, there's no way any student, let alone a third grader would be allowed to trek back, unaccompanied, to the village during the lunch break even if there were direct line of sight between the lunch area and the village, which there is not. Okay fine. It's the teacher in me. Most kids would probably not pick that up. 

I can't wait till Clementine becomes a big sister.

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