Tag Archives: Jacqueline Harvey

Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present by Jacqueline Harvey

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IMG_1702Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present by Jacqueline Harvey, paperback novel, 147 pages, published by Random House Australia in 2013.

A huge wedding is scheduled to occur at Penberthy House, and it is all hands on deck to make it successful. Unfortunately Uncle Digby becomes ill and is taken to the hospital, accompanied by Lady Clarissa, leaving Aunt Violet in charge of the guests. Clementine Rose does her best to help Aunt Violet, but the grumpy old woman seems to find it impossible to be pleasant! Amidst the growing chaos and excitement at Penberthy House, Clemmie is feeling sad and upset because she hasn’t received an invitation to Angus’ birthday party, and she seems to be the only one in the class left out. She tries to convince herself she doesn’t want to go anyway, but deep down she knows it’s simply not true. Is it a mistake, or is Angus really that mean? And will the wedding be a success even with Aunt Violet at the helm?

Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present is the third installment of the very popular Clementine Rose series. These books are suitable for lower to middle primary age children. I am reading them to my preschooler, and she just loves them, she adores Clemmie and wishes she had a tea-cup pig just like Lavender. My preschooler often tells me that she is glad her teacher is not like Mrs Bottomley, Clemmie’s kindergarten teacher. I can scarcely think of a character less suitable for teaching five year olds than Mrs Bottomley! She is so well written that my preschooler scowls every time she is mean to Clemmie, as though she were witnessing these events in her own classroom. My favourite character is definitely Aunt Violet. She can be so obnoxious and rude, yet there is a gentle side that occasionally flashes through her outer veneer of haughtiness. She reminds me of a few old ladies I’ve met! Of course, Clemmie is a weakness for Aunt Violet, and how could she not be? So wonderfully sweet and innocent, and always trying her best, Clementine Rose is an excellent role model for children.

Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present is funny and well written with a scattering of black and white illustrations throughout. The storyline is interesting, yet not too complicated, perfect for the intended audience. My preschooler laughed so hard over Uncle Orville’s antics surrounding the wedding, especially when he hopped into Aunt Violet’s bed accidentally, thinking it was his own. And she was quite relieved that Uncle Digby was going to be okay, and that Angus is becoming nicer all the time.

I am enjoying reading the Clementine Rose books with my preschooler, I love hearing her laugh, and ask for more. She is so excited to read Clemmie, she barely lets me take a breath between books! If you haven’t tried Clementine Rose yet, what are you waiting for?

Meeting Jacqueline Harvey

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One evening last week our school held a reading hour for Book Week. All the kids could come along dressed up as their favourite book character or in their pyjamas. A very special guest came along to talk to us.

L, A and I were extremely excited when we found out the special guest would be Jacqueline Harvey, author of the wonderfully entertaining Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series. Unfortunately A was far to sick to accompany us to the reading hour, so L and I went alone. I was so pleased we were able to attend. Jacqueline introduced our school community to her main characters, focusing her talk on Clementine Rose. It was a most interesting and entertaining talk, which had all the kids (and most of the adults) laughing along at Clemmie’s exploits.

L with Jacqueline Harvey.

L with Jacqueline Harvey.

After the talk we were able to have some of our books signed, which was very exciting. L had her photo taken with Jacqueline, as well as with the giant cardboard cut-outs of Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose. It was so fantastic to meet the author of these excellent books for primary school children. We are now looking forward to the latest installments of Clementine Rose’s and Alice-Miranda’s adventures.

L with the giant Alice-Miranda.

L with the giant Alice-Miranda.

You can find out all about Jacqueline Harvey, Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose, and all the books, on her website.

You can also read my reviews of Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor, Clementine Rose and the Pet Day Disaster, and Alice-Miranda at School.

Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor by Jacqueline Harvey

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IMG_1399Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor by Jacqueline Harvey, paperback, 133 pages, published by Random House Australia in 2012.

Clementine Rose is a sweet little girl of five living in an oversized estate house in disrepair, which her mother, Lady Clarissa Appleby, runs as a country guest house. Also living in Penberthy House, is the very old butler, Digby Pertwhistle, affectionately known as Uncle Digby. Along with her pet tea-cup pig Lavender, Clementine Rose lives a wonderfully happy life. However, all that is threatened when Lade Clarissa’s Aunt Violet appears, moves into the best room in the house with her extremely ugly sphynx, Pharaoh, and grumps and sneers at everyone and everything. Clementine Rose has never met anyone as rude and mean as Aunt Violet. How will they cope with Aunt Violet in the house, and when is she going to leave?

Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor is the first book in the Clementine Rose series from Jacqueline Harvey. It is a great introduction to Clementine, who is such a sweet and innocent character. And Aunt Violet is the epitome of sour old lady with her scary cat, and contemptuous sneering and sniping. All the characters are very well written, and the story is engaging and entertaining. The moment Clementine accidentally tosses a guest’s toupee into the fire is just hilarious, and her safari adventure in the library with her friends has prompted my kids to ask for a similar camp-out (though we don’t have fire to toast marshmallows over!). A fun read suitable for kids in lower and middle primary school, Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor will make them laugh, and will probably make them want a cute little tea-cup pig just like Lavender!

My second grader enjoys Clementine Rose stories, though she finds them a little easy going now  she will still listen when I read them to her sister. My preschooler just loves the Clementine Rose series, and wants me to keep reading and reading until the book ends! And then she wants to start another straight away. I really like sharing these books with her as well, I enjoy reading about Clementine’s adventures almost as much as she does!

Alice-Miranda at School by Jacqueline Harvey

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IMG_8590Alice-Miranda at School by Jacqueline Harvey, paperback children’s novel, 281 pages, published by Random House Australia in 2010.

Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones is a precocious seven year old who is starting at her new boarding school, Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies. There is something not quite right about the school though. The headmistress, Miss Grimm, never emerges from her office,  the school cook has never had a holiday, and the Gardner is not allowed to plant flowers. Alice-Miranda decides to set things right, but she must also deal with Alethea, the school bully, and a series of difficult and near impossible tasks set by Miss Grimm as an entrance test.

The Alice-Miranda series is written by the same author as the Clementine Rose series, but these books are longer and more challenging. While this book is probably best for middle primary school children, I decided to read this with my second grader, each of us taking turns to read. She was quite capable of reading it, but we did come across some words that were new to her. We took this as a learning opportunity and discussed these words, and then we looked some of them up in the dictionary. This didn’t diminish her enjoyment of the story though, and she has already begun reading the second book in the series by herself.

As Alice-Miranda is the only child of very wealthy parents who have spared no expense in raising their daughter, she had the potential to be a bit spoilt, and she is quite outspoken, so I expected her to be somewhat annoying, and ergo unlikable, but that actually wasn’t the case. She is very forthright and opinionated, but she was also intelligent, charming, interesting and confident, adventurous, charitable and kind. I found myself hoping that everything would work out for her as we read. The story is well written and interesting, with plenty of description of both characters and surroundings allowing for an immersion in the tale. I really liked sharing this story with my daughter.

Alice-Miranda’s future adventures are definitely on our to-read list!

 

 

Clementine Rose and the Pet Day Disaster by Jacqueline Harvey

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IMG_8565Clementine 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.