Clementine Rose and the Farm Fiasco by Jacqueline Harvey
Published by Random House
I am such a big fan of Jacqueline Harvey and her word smith skills. My eldest daughter has enjoyed her Alice Miranda series for a number of years so I was delighted when the Clementine Rose books were released, excited that my younger daughters would delight in the charming words of Harvey.
Clementine Rose (or ‘Clemmie’ as she is affectionately known) is a pleasant girl of kindergarten age who lives with her mother – the lovely Lady Clarissa and her Aunt Violet - a very ‘proper’ lady, who is a trifle mysterious to young Clemmie (but than aren’t all ‘old’ people to all ‘young’ people?!).
I love that no matter the age group Harvey’s books feature a rich cast of characters sure to entice all readers, most of them human but a few furry friends sure to appeal to the young reader (a enchanting tea-cup pig named Lavender won my affections!) At the back of the book, the reader can peruse a list of the Farm Fiasco’s characters to better acquaint themselves with the story.
Prior to penning tales for young readers, Jacqueline Harvey was a teacher at a girls boarding school, these years of experience can be found in the pages of Clementine Rose as the class room and its inhabitants are central to the story. First up is the charmingly lovely Miss Critchley (think Miss Honey from Roald Dahl’s Matilda), and Mrs Bottomley, the more surly teacher (but certainly not a patch on Mrs Trunchbull also of Matilda fame!).
Clemmie’s kindergarten class is in for a treat when Miss Critchely plans for the class to visit a local farm. As exciting as this treat is, adventure is sure to follow. Adventure in the form of a missing Aunt Violet and Miss Bottomley (the two brave women were bravely chasing away a cheeky goose intent on harassing the visitors before they disappeared from sight)! Will the missing ladies be found safely, and will Clemmie and her friends escape the rambunctious ram Ramon? (Only if someone will valiantly sacrifice their chocolate Brownie in exchange for safety).
This lovely tale has all the makings of a well-loved favorite story – endearing characters, adventure, humor (it turns out Aunt Violet and Miss Bottomley are quite the comedians) and descriptions of mouth watering food. Wonderful to share as a bed-time story as Harvey’s prose is well-suited to reading aloud. But my seven year old equally joined reading it to herself.
Clementine Rose is a delightful character and an even more delightful story. I look forward to sharing more of Clementine Rose’s adventures with my young readers.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Jacqueline Harvey
Title: Clementine Rose and the Farm Fiasco
Publisher: Random House
Published: November 2014