Clementine

Sebastian Loth. North-South (Ingram, dist.), $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7358-4009-6
Clementine, a demure yet determined snail with a copper-colored shell, loves round objects because she's round herself, Loth (Remembering Crystal) explains. She has a collection of round things—a ball of yarn, string of beads, a dartboard—and since the moon is the largest round thing Clementine knows, she dreams of traveling there. Her earthworm friend Paul helps her with the preparations ("Clementine was especially fond of Paul's compass—it let her draw such perfect circles"), and after a few false starts they hit on a solution, strapping Clementine to a red rocket straight out of Looney Tunes. She doesn't reach the moon, but she's carried far enough out to realize that the Earth, too, is round—a revelation that makes her quite happy. The unusual combination of cute, pint-sized story elements and the astronomical scale of the climax distinguishes Loth's work; a dramatic foldout four-page spread shows Clementine's voyage as she orbits a blue planet wreathed in clouds and surrounded by black space. The quiet dashes of humor that pervade both text and art only add to the story's charm. Ages 4–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Children's
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