Clementine Rose and the Pet Day Disaster by Jacqueline Harvey, paperback children’s novel, 151 pages, published by Random House Australia in 2013.
Clementine Rose Appleby is just five years old and she’s starting school with her two best friends. She is very excited about starting kindergarten until she meets her teacher, Mrs Bottomley, a very stern and scary older teacher who has lost her enthusiasm for teaching and for children. And if that wasn’t bad enough, some of the boys in her class, especially Angus, are mean to her, even telling lies about her to the teacher, right from the start. However, even though things don’t get off to a great start, the announcement of a pet day at school cheers Clementine up. Clementine takes her little tea cup pig, Lavender, along to the pet day, and enters her into a number of categories. She invites her Great-aunt Violet to bring her cat to the pet day too, and though Violet has no plans of attending, that is where they end up, with some interesting consequences.
This fun tale of Clementine Rose is a junior novel suitable for lower to middle primary school children. The story and language is easy to follow and understand. There are some black and white illustrations throughout, and a list of the characters and how they fit into the story at the end of the book as well. Clementine Rose is a very likeable and sweet character, and we enjoyed reading about her first days at school. Both my preschooler and my second grader liked this story, and I’d be happy to read more Clementine Rose adventures with them.