Clementine and the Spring Trip


By Sara Pennypacker

Illustrated by Marla Frazee

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$7.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around March 5, 2013. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

This delightful chapter book series, from the award-winning author of Pax, is a modern classic that has been keeping readers engaged and laughing as they follow the hijinks of Clementine, a clever and quirky third grader who’s the most spectacular friend around. Perfect for fans of Amelia Bedelia and Ivy + Bean!

For Clementine, Spring is a really big deal.

Spring is for seeing her apple tree start to grow, for watching her friend Margaret go crazy with cleaning, and for going on the school trips, like this year's trip to Plimoth Plantation. Clementine is ready for Ye Olden Times, but she isn't so sure about surviving lunch there-the fourth graders have strict rules about no eating sounds. If that wasn't enough, Clementine also faces the challenges of learning Olive-language and surviving The Cloud on Bus 7.

Hearing the pilgrim lady talk about why she made the long journey from England makes Clementine think about rules. Who makes them, and what do they mean to the people who have to live with them? Today Clementine has to decide which rules are made to be broken.

The Talented Clementine
Clementine’s Letter
Clementine, Friend of the Week
Clementine and the Family Meeting
Completely Clementine


Text copyright © 2013 by Sara Pennypacker

Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Marla Frazee

Many thanks to Bianca Ramirez for her drawings in chapters 3 and 5.

All rights reserved. Published by Disney • Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. For information address Disney • Hyperion Books, 114 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10011-5690.

The illustrations for this book were done with pen and ink on Strathmore paper.

ISBN 978-1-4231-9861-1


Spring is a really big deal here in Boston, let me tell you. After all that snow and ice, the whole city goes a little crazy when the first warm weather shows up. So when my mother checked the thermometer on Sunday afternoon and announced it was time for our Annual Family Spring Walk Through Boston Common, I grabbed my sketchbook—I knew I’d see something interesting.

And I sure did, right away. At the “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture in the Public Garden, where we always start our walk, I saw my friend Margaret standing over the last brass duckling. She was wearing big rubber gloves and slopping soapy water on him with a sponge.

“Margaret!” I cried, running to her. “What are you doing?”

Although I knew: Margaret gets extra Margaretty when the weather turns nice. She runs around scrubbing everything in sight until it sparkles, even things that don’t belong to her, like the elevator doors in our lobby and the parking meters on the street.

“Spring cleaning!” Margaret shouted, and somehow she made it sound like “It’s my birthday!” and “Free candy for life!” rolled into one. She went back to scrubbing Quack’s head.

My parents followed my little brother to the edge of the pond, and I sat down beside the ducklings.

“Your mother’s letting you do this?” I wondered if maybe Margaret’s mother had gone a little crazy with the great weather too. I looked around for her, because I would like to see Margaret’s mother going a little crazy.

Margaret pointed over her shoulder to a bunch of kids playing catch. “My mother went out to lunch with Alan. Mitchell’s in charge today. He said I could clean anything I wanted here, as long as I didn’t touch his baseball stuff.”

Margaret straightened up and shot a glare at her brother. From the way her fingers were twitching around the sponge, I could tell his rule was making her nuts. “Baseballs are supposed to be white, you know!” she yelled at him.

Mitchell pumped his glove in the air with a big smile, and went back to playing ball. Mitchell acts extra Mitchelly in the spring too. Not because of the weather, but because the Red Sox are back in town. According to Mitchell, the Red Sox are the greatest team in the history of the universe, and it’s just a matter of time before they ask him to play for them. He carries his new baseball bat around with him everywhere as if it’s a third arm, and he’s always grinning so hard, I think his cheeks will crack off.

“Never mind,” I said to Margaret. “The ducks look great, at least.”

She looked down at them. “They do, don’t they?” she said with a proud smile. “I think Mrs. Mallard must be really happy now. Doesn’t it look like she’s trying to lead them to the pond? She’s probably been wishing all these years she could just get her kids into the water and give them a nice bath, for heaven’s sake.”

I thought the story was more about her wanting to find them a home, but I didn’t remind Margaret of this. Instead I held up my sketchbook and offered to do a drawing of the statue. “I’ll put lots of sparkle rays on the ducklings to show how clean you got them. Maybe I’ll put in a cow, too. It could be admiring the ducks.”

“A cow?”

I nodded. “Farmers used to bring their cows here to the Common. I’m not even kidding about that, Margaret.”

Margaret yelped and checked the bottoms of her shoes with a panicky look on her face.

“Not now,” I explained. “In Ye Olden Times.”

Margaret’s face crumpled at the words Ye Olden Times. I knew what she was thinking about: our field trip to Plimoth Plantation coming up on Thursday. She spread a dry rag over Mrs. Mallard’s back and sank down with her head in her hands.

“They have dirt floors there, Clementine,” she mumbled through her fingers. “We saw a video Friday. Dirt! The Pilgrims swept them every morning, as if that would make them less dirty! Those Ye Olden Times people were insane!”

Margaret raised her head and gave me a hopeful look. “Hey! You like getting dirty. You be my partner on the trip. If we have to touch anything that looks filthy, you do it.”

“Oh, all right.” I said it in a draggy voice and added a tragedy sigh, although secretly I was happy—I do like getting dirty. “But then you have to protect me from the eating-sounds people.”

Ever since we had learned that the third and fourth graders were going to have lunch together on the trip, Margaret had been reminding me that the fourth graders didn’t allow any eating sounds. Every time I asked her what they did if someone made a noise, she turned white and began to quake, as if the answer was too horrible to say out loud. Which was enough of an answer for me.

Margaret thought about it. “If you make any sounds, there’s nothing I can do to save you,” she warned. “But I can teach you what to pack for lunch so you can do silent eating. Deal?”

I held out my hand so Margaret could air-shake it, the way she invented, so she wouldn’t feel crawly with germs.

Then Margaret pointed at my sketchbook. “You can do the drawing now. Extra sparkle rays. No cows.”

Just as I pulled out my pencils, though, my family came over.

Margaret gave my mother’s belly a suspicious look and took a step backward. My mother laughed and told her, “Don’t worry. Still a few months to go.”

No matter how many times we tell her it won’t happen, Margaret acts as if our baby could be born at any second, in a big explosion aiming right at her.

Margaret said, “Oh, phew, good,” but I noticed she didn’t come any closer. Even when my dad took a picture of her beside the shiny statue, she kept stealing nervous glances at my mom.

My parents took off after my brother again and waved for me to follow. “What are you so worried about anyway, Margaret?” I asked, as I collected my pencils.

“Babies wear diapers for a reason, you know, Clementine,” she answered. “And I don’t think they come with one on.”

I didn’t have a good answer for that, so I patted Mrs. Mallard’s head and said good-bye.

It was a pretty good walk. I kept an eye out for cows, in case some farmer realized, Hey, that was a good idea those historical people had. I’m going to be nice to my cows too, and let them have a stroll through the park! Boston Common is a lot more interesting now, and I bet the cows would enjoy it even more. And so would I. Cows on swan boats, cows relaxing on benches, cows using Porta-Potties—I would really like to see those things.


  • Praise for the Clementine series:
    New York Times Bestseller
    Winner of 2008 Rhode Island Children's Book Award
    Winner of 2008 William Allen White Children's Book Award
    Winner of the 2007 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor
    Winner of 2008 Great Lakes Great Books Award
    Winner of the 2007 Josette Frank Book Award
    Winner of the 2007 Sid Fleishman Award
    A 2006 School Library Journal Best Book of Year
    A 2006 Child Magazine Best Book of Year
    A 2006 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
    A 2006 National Parenting Publication Gold Award Winner
    A 2006 Nick Jr. Family Magazine's Best Book of the Year
    A 2006 Miami Herald Best Book of the Year

    *"A delightful addition to any beginning chapter-book collection."
    —School Library Journal, starred review

    *"Along with humorous bits, Pennypacker seamlessly weaves into the narrative common third-grade themes...Fans of Judy Moody will welcome this portrait of another funny, independent third-grader."
    —Publishers Weekly, starred review

    *"Middle-grade readers will sympathize with Clementine's conflicted feelings about her friend and her family, and laugh out loud at her impulsive antics, narrated in a fresh first-person voice and illustrated with plenty of humor. Give this to readers of Cleary and Blume and cross your fingers for more."
    —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

On Sale
Mar 5, 2013
Page Count
160 pages

Sara Pennypacker

About the Author

Sara Pennypacker is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pax, the Clementine series and its spinoff series, Waylon, and the acclaimed novels Summer of the Gypsy Moths and Here in the Real World. She divides her time between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Florida. She invites you to visit her online at

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Marla Frazee

About the Illustrator

Marla Frazee is a two-time Caldecott Honor winner and the recipient of a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Best Picture Book. She has illustrated many acclaimed picture books, including All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, Stars by Mary Lyn Ray, and Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, as well as her own Farmer Books trilogy, A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, and The Boss Baby, which inspired the DreamWorks Animation film. She is also the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Clementine chapter books by Sara Pennypacker. The mother of three grown sons, she lives in Pasadena, California. She invites you to visit her at

Learn more about this illustrator