|Cover Photo from GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10251668-clementine-and-the-family-meeting|
I received an advanced reader’s copy of Clementine and The Family Meeting by Sarah Pennypacker from NetGalley.
I am always excited when a new Clementine adventure is published. I’ve enjoyed all of the previous books and so have my elementary students. This book was no exception. In fact, it might be my favorite Clementine book .
Clementine is very worried. The FAMILY MEETING! sign has been posted on the fridge. This usually means that Clementine is in trouble. What could she have done now? Was she too messy? Did she eat too much junk food or was she too mean to Potato – uh, her I mean her little brother? No matter how she schemes to find out what’s on the agenda, her parents tell her she has to wait until the meeting. Hoping the meeting is not about her being in trouble, but is instead about the family getting a pet gorilla, Clementine is dismayed to learn the meeting is about a new baby. She and Spinach are getting a baby brother or sister. Clementine very politely tells her parents “No. Thanks!” After all their family is perfect as it is. There are four of them and there are four sides to the table. How will Clementine cope? Her friend Margaret tells Clementine that if HER mom were going to have a baby, Margaret would just move to California. Great! Not only does Clementine have to worry about a new addition to the family, she’s now worried about Margaret moving away. Adding to all the upheaval is a missing school science project. Will Clementine be able to sort everything out and make room for one more?
Pennypacker has captured the true essence of kid in Clementine. She’s a truly lovable character. Older readers (parents) may just recognize their own children in some of Clementine’s antics. She’s not perfect, but she tries very hard and she’s got a big heart (one big enough for a new baby and Acorn Squash.*) Children who are struggling with sharing Mom and Dad (and grandparents) with a new sibling will relate to Clementine’s struggles. This is a great resource for helping children work through the issue of sibling rivalry.
Recommended as a read alone for Grades 3 and up or a great Read A Loud for 2nd Grade.
Mrs. Archer’s rating: 5 of 5!
*Clementine frequently refers to her little brother by vegetable names. She thinks this is only fair since she, herself is named after a fruit. In the continuing spirit of fairness she suggests the new baby have a food name as well, perhaps Mushroom Soup?