"CLARICE BEAN, THAT'S ME" by Lauren Child


Age Range: 6 - 10
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Arch and precocious, but insidiously charming, Clarice Bean takes an unvarnished look at her family. Conventions of space, typeface, endpapers, and title pages have been dispensed with; Clarice's relatives and madcap but affable household are created from a variety of fonts, collage effects, and stray bits of dialogue. Clarice shares a room with her little brother Minal (she dumps spaghetti on his head and muses that she should have put tapioca down his shorts) and comments on older sister Marcie's boy-obsession and older brother Kurt's penchant for being alone in a room "that smells of socks." While her mother escapes with scented candles and language tapes in the tub, and her father has a big fancy office, Clarice amuses herself by cheating at cards with her grandfather, whose eyesight isn't good. There is a sneaky sort of affection present, especially in the endpapers where the family gathers in assorted cozy positions with mordant commentary by Clarice; she could be Eloise, reincarnated for the millennium. Child may be aiming more at adults than at children, but today's preternaturally ironic readers may find Clarice divine. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0763609617
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick