Recently I posted a review of Clementine by Sara Pennypacker that was less than glowing. I decided to give the popular heroine a second chance, partially because so many people seem to love these books and partially because I was looking for some audiobook possibilities. We pretty much always have an audiobook going in the car. John loves listening to stories. David, on the other hand, is only recently becoming amenable to stories. Typically as soon as we get in the car John asks for a story and David yells NO! and asks for music and they argue. I think part of this is that David likes to choose whatever John doesn’t like, it’s his way of asserting his own personality as the middle child. Or it’s just fun to annoy his brother. And part of it is that the stories that John enjoys are often ones that are hard for David to follow.
A few months ago we gave Ramona a try in the car and David loved it. So we worked our way through many of the Ramona books and the Henry Huggins books and moved on to Judy Blume and Fudge. It seemed like a good time to give Clementine another try.
This time, I really enjoyed the story. I think the main reason is that the narrator, Jessica Almasy, is fabulous. She makes Clementine seem more real and less annoyingly cutesy. A lot of the things that bugged me when reading the story in Clementine’s voice disappeared when listening to it in the voice Jessica gave Clementine. And most importantly, both boys liked it.
I still stand by my preference for Ramona but I think we will definitely check out more of the Clementine books, just in the audiobook version.