Child, Lauren. Clarice Bean: Don't Look Now. Candlewick Press, 2007. ISBN 9780763635367. $15.99. 254 p.
Reviewer: Lauren Bangerter
Reading Level: Young adult
Subject: Bean, Clarice (Fictitious character)--Juvenile fiction; Children’s stories; Books--Reviews;
Clarice Bean is an adventurous and fun-loving girl, but she has a lot of worries—ranging from “largish spiders” to “strange things happing to the environment.” To cope with these worries, Clarice writes them down in her “Worst Worries Notebook,” and consults her “Ruby Redfort Survival Handbook” for any suggestions, or discusses them with her best friend Betty Moody. When Betty moves away, one of Clarice’s worst worries is realized. Problems only increase as Clarice’s home goes through the renovation process and a new girl, Clem Hansson, moves in. Clarice stays up at nights thinking and worrying while she tries to work through troubles at home and the processes of making new friends and keeping old ones. Finally, when Clarice becomes the only one who can save Clem from the school bully, she is able to put her worries in perspective and not loose sleep over them.
Child’s voice is profound, yet child-like. She handles these common, and sometimes humorous, worries with tact and consideration. The story is told in such a delightful and innocent manner that the text is engaging and entertaining. Readers learn that sometimes change is inevitable, but when faced with hard challenges, it is always best to have friends.
Volume 28, no. 6 (July/August 2008)
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