Review Blog

Nov 21 2012

Clementine Rose and the surprise visitor by Jacqueline Harvey

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Random House, Australia 2012. pbk., 128pp., RRP $A12.95.
And so begins the first in a new series of books by Jacqueline Harvey, who is also the author of the Alice-Miranda series. Clementine Rose is just five years old, and gets into all sorts of situations that young girls can relate to and which make her lovable and fun. She has a pet teacup pig called Lavender, and between them, they bring new life to both Penberthy House and Lady Clarissa. But when scary Aunt Violet comes to stay with her mysterious black bag, things take an awkward turn . . .
This is a book for the newly-independent reader who is looking for a recognisable character and the support of short chapters, an easy-to-read style with a splash of humour and cute illustrations that add a richness to the story. Many young girls will see themselves in the story, either as Clementine Rose or a close friend. While this is the first in the series, others are in the pipeline and it's delightful to find an author who is prepared to let their little girl heroines be little girls, not 5-going-on-15.
You can recommend this to parents for their daughters' Christmas stockings with confidence. There's a book trailer at http://jacquelineharvey.com.au/ (scroll down) and no doubt she will have her own website in time.
Barbara Braxton

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