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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  637 ratings  ·  167 reviews
Meet the claymates: two balls of clay that can become anything--even best friends!

What can you do with two blobs of clay? Create something amazing! But don't leave them alone for too long. Things might get a little crazy.

In this photographic friendship adventure, the claymates squish, smash, and sculpt themselves into the funniest shapes imaginable. But can they fix a gi
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 20th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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I had to read this one again after I finished. So much to look at. Kids will LOVE it!
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite picture books of the year and also one I want to win a Caldecott. Great fun concept of what two balls of clay can be. I would love to see a behind the scenes video of this book was made!
Scott Fillner
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh My...I love this book! It had my children and I laughing out loud multiple times! I can't wait until June!!!
Julie Kirchner
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved the creativity of this book when I first read it months ago. But I adored it when I shared it with my second graders over the past week. They laughed out loud and applauded at the end. They had great questions about modeling the clay (which I couldn’t really answer!) and were reflective on how much effort must have gone into each illustration. Now I need to get my hands (literally and figuratively) on some clay! Great book!
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is laugh out loud funny and beyond creative. I hope it is eligible for the Caldecott. I can't wait to read it to my 3.5 year old twin grandsons although older children would love it as well and want to rush out and find some clay. I love the artist/illustrator's note in the back where she says she focuses on three important words: emotion, movement and connection. She also says that "Art and stories can be made out of anything! What will you create today?" Hope it inspires others as it ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, kids
Funny, with a cool twist on plasticine/clay illustrations in that it's acknowledged that they're balls of clay constantly changing into different things.
Jul 20, 2017 added it
Shelves: picturebooks
Two delightfully subversive blobs of plasticine dare to try on different selves when no one is looking. Warning: when this story is over, kids may not want to re-read right away; they are more likely to drop this book and look for their own ball of clay. Great fun.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and clever! I wonder how long it took to do all of the carving. I read this because it was on Mr. Schu's Mock Caldecott list; he has additional background information on his blog post. I then saw someone mention whether photography was eligible for the Caldecott.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: illustration and friendship requests
2 balls of clay get sculpted into a wolf and an owl. They then decide to have some fun...

I have a real soft spot for claymation.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Cute story told by the two clay pieces. Would make an interesting intro to a maker unit or art unit about creativity and making change. The pieces have great facial expressions.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sooooo cute! I laughed out loud at this book more than once. It is pure genius!!! It isn't really a read aloud book, and I think first through third 3 grade kids would enjoy it the most. What am I saying? First grade through adults are going to love it!!!
Niki (Daydream Reader)
So CREATIVE!! I can't wait to read this book aloud to students!!
Serine Majid
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE IT!!!!!
Katie Dicesare
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This books is super creative and hilarious! I know my kids will want to be creating with clay as soon as they see it. So many possibilities for kid thinking throughout and after reading this.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Two balls of clay meet one another and then are formed by an artist into an owl and a wolf. The two are left alone and quickly discover that they are able to change their own shapes as they like. They rapidly change from one form to another, elephants and peanuts, things big, small, flat and sharp. As the artist returns, the two balls of clay try to remember what they had originally been shaped as but don’t quite get it right. So back they go into a wolf and an owl and then eventually into balls ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are days when you crave great gulps of it. It's an elixir for your soul. You need it like your body needs air. It can come over you spontaneously or build until it bursts out in the open.

Whether it's a snicker or a shriek, laughter is contagious. It's a rare person who hears it and does not feel at the least, a hint of a smile forming. Claymates (Little, Brown and Company, June 20, 2017) written by Dev Petty with illustrations by Lauren Eldridge is certain to send spirits soaring. There wi
Kyra Nay
In a studio, two lumps of clay are transformed into a wolf and owl by the hands of the artist. When left to their own devices, the two fast friends playfully begin to experiment, changing into elephants, aliens, cyclops, peacocks and more. But what will happen when the artist returns?

This is an excellent choice for elementary students, who will appreciate the visual humor. It’d would also make a good book paring for any clay-based art programs.

3.5 stars.
Lesley Burnap
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a creative tour-de-force! Creatures made from clay begin to experiment with their self-image once "the artist" leaves the room and all heck breaks lose! Dev Petty's dialogue is a witty, fun banter between these 2 creatures of clay. Lauren Eldridge seems to have WAY too much fun molding Deb's words into action! Hilarious book for all ages! The only problem I have is whether or not I can wait that long for my own hardcover book! Spectacular!
Rebecca Honeycutt
Story-wise, this is a fairly typical metafiction picture book, but the completely bonkers 3-D clay illustrations bump it up a level. Some kids might be a little freaked out by the gleeful body modifications of these two clay pals, but lots more will be fascinated (and possibly inspired to do some sculpting of their own).
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. GOSH. So cute!! And super meta
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was friends that were clay and love to turn into anything.
Baby Bookworm
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Today, we’re reviewing Claymates, written by Dev Petty and illustrated by Lauren Eldridge, a wonderfully unique tale of friendship, creativity, and fun.

Our story begins in a sculptor’s workshop, where two lumps of clay meet. They are both new to the workshop, and a little nervous about what they’re going to be. When the sculptor comes, she carefully molds them: brown clay become
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It is reminiscent of the "Elephant and Piggie" book format in which there are two characters who dialogue back and forth to tell the story. As with "Elephant and Piggie," the characters are definitely entertaining, and they are uniquely sculpted out of clay. All of the images in this book are photographs of actual clay sculptures, which I found interesting.

The claymates start out as an owl and a wolf respectively, which is what a human artist has formed them into, bu
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh how I love this book, with one LARGE exception. This is a fantastic book, with a great story, and fantastic photographed illustrations. However, it drove me absolutely crazy the sloppy way that the transformations in the clay were shown by having ink that looked like a kid with an pen had scribbled over the picture. The first time I encountered this in the book, I honestly thought someone had defaced the book, even though it was brand new. Then when I figured out what the illustrator was tryi ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! In her studio, an artist (whom we don't see) sculpts two creatures from clay. When she (finally!) leaves, they decide to make a few little changes, to hilarious effect. The photo illustrations, created with clay and some seriously mad eyeballs, are just delightful. Perfect accompaniment to other stories that play with characters' self-awareness, or how characters create their own settings:
Chloe and the Lion, Be Quiet!, even Harold and the Purple Crayon, and so on.
This book is not only really funny, but the amazing illustrations do so much of the work. The characters are sitting on an artist's desk waiting for her to shape them, they are blobs of clay after all. One is friendly and open, the other worried and nervous. After the artist provides them a shape, they start experimenting, but things get out of hand. One of my favorite things about the book is the facial expressions the illustrator gives the characters, combined with the back and forth dialogue ...more
Playing with clay has never looked more fun and inviting than it does in this awesome picture book! There are two new lumps of clay in the art studio, and they're not quite sure what's going to happen. When the artist is finished, the new figures are glad for the break. Young readers will have fun watching the two friends start playing around with their shapes and features. With all of the new fun shapes the friends become, how will they fix when they hear the artist returning? This would be a f ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As an educator who guides learning through inquiry, I love the way this story encourages wonder with the question: “What do you think is going to happen?” The entire text is structured as a conversation between the two main characters, which are balls of clay! I especially love how the “speech bubbles” are small, torn scraps of paper. There is so much in these photographs that I can imagine students returning to this book to look at it again and again. This is a book I want to have my personal c ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. This has probably moved to the top of my Caldecott Contender list for 2017. I am just so in love with this book, and it's creative and could be read over and over again. It's unique and uses the clay form exceptionally well, I think. So many pages I just adore. It's a picture book, it has a story, it's distinguished as all get out. And just as Lauren says she tries to do in the artist's note, she shows "emotion, movement, and connection." I could keep going, but I'll sto ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a delightful story. Two new pieces of clay find themselves together. Then an artist arrives and makes them into a wolf and an owl. Bored, they start making themselves into other nonsensical creatures. Having so much fun, they go crazier and crazier, using tools, extra eyeballs, and whatever enters their imagination. They hear the artist returning—Yikes! They’ve got to get back to what they were, but the both forgot what they were. Hilarious story and totally interesting to see all the shape ...more
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Dev writes books for kids which are also often enjoyed by immature adults.

She was a senior visual effects artist in film and is now- thanks to her husband, daughters and pets, fully recovered from her chronic workaholism.

She is also good at word jumbles. Really good.

Dev was born in Berkeley, California and now lives pretty much in Berkeley, California.

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