Clementine has had many not-so-good days. But this one just might be the worst.
She loses her favorite hat, her science project is ruined and the “family meeting!” sign is up on the refrigerator—that's never a good thing. Even though family meetings are supposed to be about family issues, Clementine usually ends up getting in trouble. But this one is different. Clementine’s dad announces that their family is going to grow. Are they are getting a gorilla, like Clementine has always wanted?! No. It’s a new baby. Clementine is N-O-T, not happy. They are a family of four. Four is a perfect number. In infallible Clementine reasoning: “Four can be two and two sometimes, and nobody is lonely. Two kids and two grown-ups. Two boys and two girls. There are four sides to the kitchen table, so we each get one.” Five just doesn’t work. Pennypacker tackles the oft-written new-baby theme from a refreshing, older perspective; jealousy is not the foremost emotion, it’s vulnerability. Everything is changing too fast. Clementine and her dad have always had a unique bond, but in this venture, he especially shines. He picks up on unspoken feelings and knows just how to give the right amount of comfort.
Filled with familiar Clementine charm but, more importantly, a whole lot of heart, too. (Fiction. 7-10)