One of the things that I enjoy most about the Clementine books is the fact that Clementine seems so real, just like the kids I work with every day. She has her strengths (very observant, kind heart, willing to work) and her weaknesses (fidgety, impulsive). She has good days and bad days just like every child does. She has problems at school (missing science project rat) and at home (adjusting to a baby on the way). But Clementine's family and friends are interesting characters as well and are more than just secondary characters.
The writing is superb and very suitable for a third grader, I can here her voice in my head even when I am not reading the book. The illustrations by Caldecott Honor winning Marla Frazee provide the perfect compliment to the writing. Overall, a great addition to the series and I highly recommend the whole series.
Clementine's having a nervous breakdown. The FAMILY MEETING! sign is up in her house, and she just knows she's in trouble for something. Has she been too mean to her little brother? Too sloppy? Eating too much junk food? Try as she might to find out what's on the agenda, her parents won't reveal anything before the meeting. As far as Clementine is concerned, the agenda should be something like: "We're getting a gorilla." But no, it's something entirely different. "We're talking about a new baby," says her father. "A brother or sister for you two. What do you think about that?" NO THANKS! is what Clementine thinks. After all, four is the perfect number for a family. There are four sides to a table, not five. Will Clementine learn to make room for one more? Readers will chuckle at Clementine's unique perspective on the age-old issue of sibling rivalry.