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Friday, February 03, 2012

Breezing through Beezus and Ramona

Beezus and Ramona
by Beverly Cleary
illustrated by Tracy Dockray

A week ago, with no prompting from me, D brought home Beezus and Ramona, the first book. That night, Ana started reading it casually. She was hooked.

Ramona is really naughty, Mama!

Oh yeah? How so?

She bugs her older sister Beatrice - Ramona calls her Beezus, so now everyone calls her Beezus, which is funny, but am sure Beatrice won't like it much - and makes her mad.

Like how Oggie makes you mad sometimes?

Oh, no, Mama, Ramona is way naughtier than Og. Oggie is a cutie. He does bother me, and disturb me, and doesn't listen to me, and doesn't do what he is supposed to, and he gets into my stuff... but, Ramona does things that are way more annoying...

Oh, like what?

Well, you have to read the book!

I was meaning to finish it, but a few days ago, Ana talked D into taking her to the library. Turns out she was done with Beezus and Ramona so she returned it and borrowed Ramona the Pest, the next in the series.

I was taking her to school this morning, not a peep from her all the way to Og's school (he gets dropped off first). On our way to her school, I asked what she was planning to do that day and I got a pained, "Can you not talk to me now, please?" The rear-view mirror showed her focused on Ramona the Pest. I enjoyed the quiet ride till drop-off, and smiled when the bookmark was inserted 2/3rds way into the book. She is zipping through these books, looks like.

The book is narrated from Beezus' perspective (I did take a peek, even if not read the whole book) which immediately appealed to Ana, as the hassled older sister always having to watch out for and put up with the younger sibling who seems to be able to get away with anything and everything, things she could never dream of getting away with (and probably would never dream of doing in the first place).

I like stories told from the child's perspective. It takes all sorts. I am not terribly fond of stories where kids are precocious, and are disrespectful to the people around them, but I can try to read it with a detached academic interest. However, Ramona is rather endearing. She is spirited, has a personality, and knows to get her way. And, when seen from her perspective, her unusual behavior rather seems natural.

Beezus and Ramona book (the parts I have read so far) are so timeless, full of charm and universal appeal, that I am glad Ana has taken to it. I am not so sure about the later books in the series, but, so far so good.

[Browse Inside Beezus and Ramona at Harper Collins]

[image source: Harper Collins]

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At 6:53 PM, Blogger Megan said...

We read a few of the together last year, and our kiddos loved them too. We're actually reading Henry and Ribsy right now, and the boys love to check out the locations around town that are described in the books!


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