Clementine Florentine

What a fabulous start to a book! In the first three pages alone, we get feline bowel movements, a fart joke and a perfectly formed verse about Fred, the overweight and litter-tray-challenged cat. A rollercoaster of a beginning and it doesn’t let up until we hit the last line.

Clementine Florentine, the nom de plume of budding poet Clem, is a girl with a great sense of humour, a talent for poetry and a serious dislike of her classmate Callum. However, the facts that Callum’s mum and Clem’s dad are dating and Callum is as good at writing poems as Clem are speedbumps that the pair need to get over in order to work together. To avoid becoming step-siblings, they need to manufacture a break-up from which their parents’ budding relationship can’t recover!

The story is entertaining, engaging and utterly relatable. Some very memorable secondary characters in Ingrid and Lyn Ferno add colour and fun to the narrative, and the introduction of a gobby parrot is the icing on the cake. These characters allow Clem to see past her own feelings and insecurities and realise that maybe the damage she’s trying to cause will hurt her far more than those she wants to punish.

This is a blended-family tale that’s not in any way new, but it’s done warmly, accessibly and with lots of humour. There’s also a lovely and rewarding ending that means that you can’t help but feel a glow of satisfaction once you finish the last page.

Book Cover - Clementine Florentine
Illustrator
Publisher
Reviewer
Publication Date
January 2022
Format
Paperback
Pages
315
ISBN
9781912979714
Age range
Category