Daily Archives: December 10, 2007

Can’t Beat Clarice Bean

Someone who loves me bought me this:


(which in case you can’t figure it out is a Charlie and Lola Orange Pencil Tin).

My snazzy treat was very promptly filled with a choice selection of new felt-tipped pens in various colours, and it is sitting next to me at this very moment, making the world a better place.

So, it’s fairly clear that I more or less worship Lauren Child. Sometimes I wish that through some sort of Freaky Friday-ish incident I could become Lauren Child for a day, just to experience life from inside the mind of such an artistically brilliant gal.

While I wait for this to happen, I read her books and buy them for all the kids I know. Even better than Charlie and Lola (did I just write that?) is Clarice Bean. To add to her general fantastic-ness, Clarice has her own website: Clarice Bean’s Utterly Cool Website.

Not too long ago I finished reading the latest Clarice Bean title:

(As a complete aside… how stylish does this book look? It looks mighty pretty lying on any bedside table, I promise you that).

Clarice Bean, Don’t Look Now just happens to be one of the many nominated Middle Grade titles for The 2007 Cybils Awards. It’s in there with some real heavyweights, so I hope it isn’t overlooked just because Clarice is not all angsty and oppressed by her friends/family/society/the world.

In this, the third installment of the series, Clarice finds herself worrying about anything and everything under the sun. Always keeping her “Ruby Redfort Survival Handbook” close at hand, Clarice finds little solace in Ruby’s advice on the subject of worrying:

“Always remember: It’s the worry you haven’t even thought to worry about that should worry you the most.”

Indeed… well, as Clarice discovers, truer words were never written. Her family provides much scope in the worrying department. If it wasn’t enough that their house is quite literally falling down, Clarice is convinced that her Mom and Dad are on the verge of divorce. Then, just when Clarice feels that perhaps things aren’t as bad as she thought, her best friend Betty up and moves to California. Bummer.

At its heart, this is a story about coping with change, and learning to accept that the unknown is in fact, unknown, and it will always be there, whether you’re worrying about it or not.

Baking analogy time…

If Clarice Bean books were a baked good, they would be gorgeous, perfect cupcakes that not only looked smashing, but tasted like heaven too.

Sure to be gobbled up by any reader with taste.

Clarice Bean, Don’t Look Now by Lauren Child is published by Candlewick Press (who else).