Clarence Cochran, A Human Boy
Publication Date: March 31, 2009
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When Clarence Cochran wakes up one evening, he’s shocked. Where are his antennae and his beautiful wings? And what is this strange pair of shorts that he’s wearing? Clarence has changed from a cockroach into a tiny human boy! The other cockroaches are disgusted. Only Clarence’s mother understands. “Be who you are,” she says. “You will do wonderful things.” And when the entire roach community – happily living in the messy Gilmartin kitchen – is threatened with extermination, Clarence does, setting out on a dangerous journey to enlist the help of ten-year-old Mimi Gilmartin in a quest to save his family and friends.Expressive drawings add visual punch to this funny, thoughtprovoking modern fable that shows how even the most hostile species can find a way to coexist.
WILLIAM LOIZEAUX is the author of Wings, winner of an ASPCA Henry Bergh Award and a Golden Kite Honor Book for Fiction. He lives in Hyattsville, Maryland. ANNE WILSDORF has illustrated many books, including Two Sticks by Orel Protopopescu, selected as a Best Children’s Book of the Year, Bank Street College. She lives in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“Clarence is a brave soul who dares the wilds of the carpet, befriends fleas to get past the dog, and develops a sweet, quasi-romantic friendship with the human girl . . . . Monochromatic line-and-wash illustrations in a tempered Quentin Blake-like style add a cute factor and help scaffold imagination.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Readers will cheer resourceful Clarence and his staunch mom in this humorous adventure story and enjoy viewing the roaches’ miniature world as depicted in Anne Wilsdorf’s black-and-white drawings.” —Washington Parent
“This is a story about friendship and seeing beyond appearances, but Loizeaux’s tiny human has a unique perspective that may bring new understanding about the importance of all species, even one as unpopular as Clarence’s.” —School Library Journal
“Loizeaux paints an entertaining picture of the slovenly Gilmartin family and the bounty that their kitchen provides to the local cockroach community . . . . Wilsdorf’s black-and-white drawings amplify the humor of the text while highlighting specific action and amusing details.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Fun fare for the whole fam.” —Fuse # 8 Blog