Saturday, April 04, 2015

Beezus and Ramona (1955)

Beezus and Ramona. Beverly Cleary. 1955. HarperCollins. 208 pages. [Source: Library]

Unlike other books in the Ramona series, this one is narrated by Beezus. Like all other books in the Ramona series, it has a just-right feel about it. Beverly Cleary's greatest talent may be in her capturing what it feels like to be a kid.

Beezus, as you probably know, is Ramona's big sister. Ramona does steal the show in almost every book in which she appears. There's something unforgettable about her. But though the focus is on Ramona, this is still very much Beezus' book. It captures how she feels about her family, about Ramona.

"Beezus and Her Little Sister." Ramona LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to have The Littlest Steam Shovel read to her. Her parents are unwilling to read it to her--they have come to have no tolerance for it. But Beezus, well, she'll read it to Ramona, not that she likes it, but, she'll give in now and then. She gets the idea to take Ramona to the library to get a brand new book--for two weeks. Ramona picks a new book, but, it is still about steam shovels. She likes it so much, that she does something NAUGHTY so she can keep it for always. What will Beezus do since it was checked out on her card? Just how sympathetic will the librarian be?

"Beezus and Her Imagination" Beezus is in an art class. Ramona isn't supposed to be in the class with her, she's supposed to be playing outside in the sandbox. But on this occasion, Beezus finds Ramona in class with her. Could she get inspired by her sister's imaginary pet?! Could she earn her teacher's attention?!

"Ramona and Ribsy" Beezus invites Henry Huggins (and his dog, Ribsy) to her house to play checkers. It doesn't go well. Both Ribsy and Ramona have fits of sorts. And Ribsy ends up locked in the bathroom?! Beezus wishes Ramona was more like other people's sisters.

"Ramona and the Apples" Beezus is supposed to be watching Ramona while their mother does the grocery shopping. But. Ramona proves too much to handle. She sneaks into the basement and has her way with all the apples...taking one bite and just one bite from each apple. Will Beezus get in trouble? Can anything good come from all those ruined apples?

"A Party at the Quimbys" Ramona decides to have a party and invite other kids over to the house--without permission of course. What will Beezus and their mother do? This one ends in a parade. Among the guests, Howie and Willa Jean.

"Beezus's Birthday" Will Beezus have a cake for her tenth birthday?! It might not be as easy as you might think. Not with Ramona around. But with a little help from Aunt Beatrice, all might be well after all. Hint: If you have a sister like Ramona, don't read the story of Hansel and Gretel to her when your cake is in the oven!

I love the Ramona series. I do. I love, love, love the Ramona books. I think I read them dozens of more times than the Little House books. (I've recently reread these too.) I'm not sure Beezus and Ramona is my favorite of the series, but, it's a great start to a great series.

Do you have a favorite cover?

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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