Rebecca's Reviews > Beezus and Ramona

Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
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Feb 22, 11

bookshelves: read-out-loud, read-in-2011

Four stars only because I know they just get better as the series progresses. While some reviewers complained that this book is now "dated," I enjoyed the glimpses into the 1950s. Ramona lives out her "early years" there, but does most of her growing up in the '70s and '80s. So as the books go on, we see how her family reflects the times. In Beezus and Ramona, for example, her father is nearly invisible: off to work, then grumbling and reading the newspaper in his favorite chair in the evenings. In later books he emerges as an equal parent and even stays at home with the kids when he loses his job while Mother works outside the home.

I read this edition out loud to Audrey (age 5), but I prefer the 1980's version I grew up with, with the orange cover and retro spellings. In elementary school when I first read this to myself, I was charmed when Ramona asked for a "cooky." The illustrations are also different between the two versions. Both good, but I'll always have a nostalgic fondness for the older ones!
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