Clementine Loves Red by Krystyna Boglar, illustrated by Bohdan Butenko


   Clementine Loves Red by Krystyna Boglar, illustrated by Bohdan Butenko, translated by Zosia Krasodomska-Jones and Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Pushkin Children’s Books, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78269-118-1

Format:  paperback

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 3.5

Genre: Historical fiction

What did you like about the book? A group of children on vacation find a little girl crying in the woods and make some assumptions about her without getting the whole story. This leads to a rather wild chase through the woods during a thunderstorm with a whole cast of interesting characters. The book was originally published in Poland in 1970. The illustrations are all in red with black captions, interspersed throughout the book and adding charm to it. This is a quirky story, but it moves quickly, has a satisfying ending, and might make a fun read-aloud for a classroom or family.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The children refer several times to playing the game “Red Indians.” This outdated terminology should have been changed in the new edition. Also, the children call their slightly overweight brother by the nickname “Pudding”, which feels unnecessarily mean.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Read Alikes? Recommend to readers who enjoy something different, such as the novels of Roald Dahl. Also suggest to readers who are looking for novels set in Poland.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries might want to consider it if they are looking to expand the breadth of their collections.

Where would you shelve it ?  Middle-grade fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA

Date of review: May 26, 2017

 

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