Wednesday 13 August 2014

Utterly Me, Clarice Bean

Utterly Me, Clarice Bean was a book that I'd meant to read for a long time, and fully expected to like. I did like my time with Clarice, but I didn't love it as much as I'd presumed I would. Still, it was a nice quick read, even I managed to read it in just a couple of days. I liked this better than the picture book Clarice Bean, That's Me. Perhaps the longer format worked better for Clarice? I definitely like her voice- she's quite funny, and I did chortle away a few times, not quite laughing out loud, but there were some sniggering snorts. 

I really like Clarice's language. How her every third word is utterly. How things are probably almost definitely code. That she uses insults like super limpet. How when her best friend Betty isn't at school Clarice presumes that she is in Russia or kidnapped by aliens. And it's funny.

Can you imagine Ruby Redfort cleaning the washbasin? 
The answer is NO because she has Mrs Digby who looks after her every need.  
Ruby Redfort is too busy solving crime to clean a washbasin. 
Mum says if I moan about this she will get me to clean the toilet.  
I'm thinking about calling the child protector people. 

It's strange but finally reading Utterly Me, made me not really want to read the Ruby Redfort books, when I'd been vaguely interested before. I knew that they were a spinoff from the Clarice Bean books, but didn't really know how. Ruby Redfort is a girl detective and the heroine of a book series that consumes much of Clarice and Betty's attention and affections. However Ruby sounded rather annoying, kind of like a modern Nancy Drew at times, and generally like a James Bond/boys adventure hero (perhaps that's the point) at others. 

Still, Lauren Child has rightly been tremendously successful, her style is immediately recognisable, rather influential and even iconic in the children's book world. I'll spend more time with Clarice and hope our friendship grows. 


Satia said...

Oooooh . . . . I'm eager to read your soon(ish) review of The Fairy Who Wouldn't Fly. My DIL looooves fairies and I haven't given my granddaughter many fairy books but, judging by the cover, it looks adorable.

Brona said...

Ruby Redfort makes me smile. In my first month in the bookshop, I had a young girl come in and ask me about it.

This was back in 2009 when RR was nothing but a made-up character...but the little girl & I didn't know that!

I spent ages researching, trying to find a RR title. The little girl was adamant; she had all the facts. It was in Clarice Bean; Clarice is inspired by the RR books... and on it went.

I finally found a LC interview where she was asked about RR. She explained that everyone thought RR was a real book, but it was just a made up book within her Clarice Bean books...but because she'd had sooooo many letters asking her about the RR stories, she decided to write them herself!

Believe it or not, this is one of the reasons why I love going to work each day :-)

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I am now a Clarice Bean fan. I just like CB so much.

Louise said...

It will be soon(isn) Satia- here's a heads up- it's fairy cute!

Brona- that's a nice story- I'm jealous of your job already.

Deb- I'm glad you've fallen for her. I definitely want to read more. I thought I'd fall heavily for Clarice, and was disappointed that I didn't- even though I found it delightful.