Clementine Rose and the Bake-Off Dilemma
Random House Australia, 2018
160pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
Clementine Rose is a sassy young girl who was delivered not in the usual way at a hospital but in the back of a mini-van in a basket of dinner rolls. Living in the magnificent mansion in Penberthy Floss with her mother, her Aunt Violet, Digby Pertwhistle the butler and pet teacup pig, Lavender, Clementine Rose has had many adventures that her readers can really relate to, making her a favourite with newly independent readers.
In this new story, Clementine Rose and the Bake-Off Dilemma, Clementine Rose is bursting with plans for the school holidays! But with the announcement that a new cooking show will be filmed in the village, everything changes. While Clementine is disappointed that her activities have been cancelled, she soon has an idea and takes to the kitchen in a baking frenzy. If only her mother wasn’t feeling so sick and could help out when things turn sticky.
Everyone wants to be a part of the show – especially Mrs Bottomley! – and it doesn’t take long before temperatures are running high. With the main event being held at Penberthy House, Clementine has the inside scoop and spies some surprising behaviour from the contestants. Will she uncover a secret? And will the show be a flop, or a scrumptious success?
When the first in this series, Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor, was published in September 2012 I introduced Miss Then 6 to it and she was enthralled because here was a feisty young heroine whom she could relate to and each new addition to the series was greeted with much anticipation. As the series progressed along with her reading skills, she would read them eagerly to her younger sister. Now she is 12 and moving into high school she has moved on but now her young sister is an independent reader herself and I’m sure she will love this new episode as much as the others, even moreso because she will be able to read it for herself.
Jacqueline Harvey has certainly created a character who resonates with her readers and as the new school year isn’t that far away, this is a series to introduce to a whole new group of newly independent readers looking for something that will engage and intrigue as they meet Clementine and her friends. As my friend Sue Warren says on her Just So Stories blog, “Jacqueline Harvey continually strikes just the right note with her books for younger girls. The mix of adventure, mischief, humour and excitement has great appeal for the intended age group and each book contains much with which these readers can easily identify – even though they don’t live in a big old house or own a teacup pig!” Exactly what I would have said (and have, in previous reviews.)
If this series in not yet in your collection, seriously consider adding it if you want to capture young girls looking for a great read.