Have I told you lately that I love, love, love Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine? She’s Ramona Quimby, Shirley Temple, and Anne of Green Gables all mixed together and placed in an apartment building in Boston with a super dad and an artist mom and a little brother named Broccoli.
Well, okay, fine. His name isn’t really Broccoli or String Bean or Squash or any of the other names that Clementine has for him, but she figures since she got named for a fruit, her brother should be a vegetable name. And that’s the way Clementine thinks.
In this fourth installment of the Clementine saga, Clementine is chosen to be Friend of the Week in her third grade class. The Friend of the Week gets to “tell my autobiography,be line leader, collect the milk money, feed the fish” and have a booklet in which every other child in the class writes about why the Friend of the Week is a good friend. But soon the wonderfulness of being Friend of the Week is eclipsed by tragedy when Clementine loses her kitten, Moisturizer. What can she do? Where can Moistuizer be? How can they find him? And will the saying that Clementine is remembering come true: curiosity killed the cat?
I think every second or third grade girl in the U.S. ought to get a copy of at least one of the Clementine books in her stocking for Christmas, and half the boys should, too. Clementine just gets better with each book.