Monday, September 27, 2010

Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

Product Details
Format: Paperback, 208pp
Series: Ramona Series
ISBN-13: 9780380709540
ISBN: 0380709546


At last Beverly Cleary has given Ramona Quimby a book of her own. No longer is she the shy nemesis of Henry Huggins or the exasperating responsibility of Beezus. Instead she is a five-year-old with spirit'and a rare opportunity to explain her side of things.

The story deals with Ramona's entrance into kindergarten, a memorable event for all concerned. Whether Ramona is proving what a good rester she is by snoring delicately during quiet time or whether she is pulling Susan's tempting curls, she makes her presence known. Most of the time Ramona loves her teacher, Miss Binney, wholeheartedly. How Miss Binney feels is anyone's guess. Mrs. Quimby tells her daughter, "She will never forget you as long as she lives."

Nothing seems quite so funny to children as the tales of what they did when they were little. Here then is an account of kindergarten days for readers who have passed that awkward stage. Many will find that Ramona's escapades hilarious; others will be moved by her struggles to make a place for herself in an uncomprehending world.

My thoughts:
I listened to Ramona the Pest in the car with my children as we ran errands to prepare for our family beach vacation. It is odd but I can’t recall if I ever read this books as a child. The covers and titles are all familiar from seeing them in libraries and bookstores, but if I read them as a child it was so long ago that I had forgotten all about them.

Ramona reminds me a bit of Junie B. Jones, who obviously came many years later. She isn’t trying to be bad but her perception of reality is her own and that causes her to run into problems. The audio book was read by Stockard Channing. She changes her voice a bit for each of the characters which helps to entertain my children.

Ramona is in kindergarten in this book and is getting used to going to school and all that entails. I am not sure my children understood the chapter with the rain boots that were pulled on over shoes since they’ve never seen boots like that, I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen boots like that. While the book was written before I was born the story isn't actually that dated. It shows how, while we have a ton more technology now than there was then, the interactions between sisters, parents, teachers and friends really hasn’t changed all that much.

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