Nine-year-old Beezus Quimby has her hands full with her little sister, Ramona. Sure, other people have little sisters that bother them sometimes, but is there anyone in the world like Ramona? Whether she's taking one bite out of every apple in a box or secretly inviting 15 other 4-year-olds to the house for a party, Ramona is always making trouble--and getting all the attention. Every big sister can relate to the trials and tribulations Beezus must endure. Old enough to be expected to take responsibility for her little sister, yet young enough to be mortified by every embarrassing plight the precocious preschooler gets them into, Beezus is constantly struggling with her mixed-up feelings about the exasperating Ramona.
Beverly Cleary (April 12, 1916 - March 25, 2021) was the author of over 30 books for young adults and children. Her characters are normal children facing challenges that many of us face growing up, and her stories are liberally laced with humour. Some of her best known and loved characters are Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice ("Beezus"), Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.
Beverly Cleary was born Beverly Atlee Bunn in McMinnville, Oregon. When she was 6, her family moved to Portland, Oregon, where she went to grammar and high school. She was slow in learning to read, due partly to her dissatisfaction with the books she was required to read and partly to an unpleasant first grade teacher. It wasn't until she was in third grade that she found enjoyment from books, when she started reading The Dutch Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins. Thereafter, she was a frequent visitor to the library, though she rarely found the books she most wanted to read — those about children like herself.
She moved to California to attend the University of California, Berkeley, and after graduation with a B.A in English in 1938, studied at the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned a degree in librarianship in 1939. Her first job was as a librarian in Yakima, Washington, where she met many children who were searching for the same books that she had always hoped to find as a child herself. In response, she wrote her first book, Henry Huggins, which was published in 1950. Beezus and Ramona, Cleary's first novel to feature the Quimby sisters as the central focus of the story, was published in 1955, although Beezus and Ramona made frequent appearances in the Henry Huggins series as supporting characters.
In 1940 she married Clarence T. Cleary and they moved to Oakland, California. The Clearys became parents to a set of twins, Marianne Elisabeth and Malcolm James, in 1955. Clarence Cleary died in 2004. Beverly Cleary lived in Carmel, California until her death in 2021 at the age of one-hundred and four.
She also wrote two autobiographies, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet.
This is the only book in the series written from older sister Beezus' point of view. In the book, Beezus is struggling with her feelings for her annoying younger sister Ramona.
Ramona exasperates Beezus with her high spirits and wild imagination. Ramona scribbles all over a library book, gets Ribsy locked in the bathroom, and disrupts Beezus' art class. Finally Beezus realizes it is possible to love her sister, even when she doesn't always like her. The Ramona books are a series of eight humorous children's novels by Beverly Cleary that center on Ramona Quimby, her family and friends.
The first book, Beezus and Ramona, appeared in 1955. The final book, Ramona's World, was published in 1999.
Two books in the series were named Newbery Honor books, Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8; Ramona and Her Mother received the National Book Award. Sometimes known as the Beezus and Ramona series.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز ششم ماه فوریه سال2004میلادی
عنوان: رامونا و بیزوس جلد یک؛ نویسنده: بورلی کلی یری؛ مترجم احمد کسایی پور؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، شهر کتاب، هرمس، سال1383، در159ص، مصور، زبان فارسی انگلیسی؛ موضوع داستانهای خنده دار برای کودکان از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م
در این کتاب، ماجراهای دو دختر، به نامهای «رامونا»، و «بئاتریس»، بازگو میشود؛ «رامونا» خواهر کوچک «بئاتریس» است، که در خانه به او «بیزوس» میگویند؛ یکی از ماجراهای داستان، درباره ی کتابخانه رفتن «رامونا» و «بیزوس» است؛ «رامونا» خود را به شکل خرگوش درمیآورد، و این کار «بیزوس» را خشمگین میکند؛ اما مادر «رامونا»، به او اجازه میدهد، تا با همان سر و شکل به کتابخانه برود؛ در کتابخانه نیز «رامونا»، سر و صدا، به راه میاندازد، و یکی از کتابهای امانتی «بیزوس» را، خط خطی میکند، تا جاییکه «بیزوس» مجبور میشود، بهای کتاب را به کتابدار کتابخانه، پرداخت کند؛ کتاب سرشار از ماجراهای دل انگیز، و شیرین است، که بین این دو خواهر، و برای خانواده ی آن دو روی میدهند؛
تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 29/11/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 30/11/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Returning to my childhood, I picked up this cute piece for my current book challenge. Beatrice ‘Beezus’ and Ramona Quimby share an interesting sisterhood connection. Ramona is that annoying four year-old, seeking her own independence and annoying a much older (9-10) and mature Beezus, in this collection of short stories. Ramona finds herself fixated on a certain book, the desire to join in the fun with the older children, and even to throw herself a party. Beezus is left to process all that her sister is doing and seeks to right all the wrongs, while utilising her parents’ desire for a calm life to keep Ramona in line. However, Beezus must come to realise that even if she does not like Ramona all the time, she loves her sister with all her being. These tales pave the way for an entire collection of adventures these sisters will have, bringing a number of other friends and family members along. Sure to entertain the young person in your life, Cleary shows that sibling rivalry and love surpasses the test of time. Perfect for young readers who are learning to discover the passion of books.
I remember reading these books and watching the associated television program in my youth. While I also had a younger sister, nothing was as over the top as the antics that Ramona seems to create for those around her. This first in the series is sure to open the way for many adventures that the young reader can discover, seeing how Beezus and Ramona tackle some of the issues that seemed to face young people at the time. Without the aid of video games or hours of television on hundreds of channels, the Quimby girls had to find their own entertainment, which sometimes led to outlandish adventures. While I would not have picked these stories up on my own, doing so has allowed me to tap into my childhood again, much as devouring stories of chocolate factories or errant Christmas pageants might as well. With a young son just discovering the wonders of books, I hope to be able to pass along these types of stories to show him the wonders of books and how fun the experience can be. Books open the mind and the soul, which is something that Beverly Cleary has fostered in this wonderful series.
Kudos, Madam Cleary, for reminding me of the wonders of early independent reading. I will pass along this passion to Neo and anyone else I can.
This book fulfills Topic #5 of Equinox #2 Book Challenge: The Earliest Remembered Chapter Book Read in Childhood
I loved this book when I was a kid and my son loves it now. He thinks Ramona needs a spanking, and I am inclined to almost agree. Perhaps not quite a spanking, but certainly something stronger than, "You may go to your room." I think the mom gets stricter in later books in this series, but she is wishy-washy in this one.
In a Battle of the Brats, my son couldn't decide whether Fudge or Ramona would win. I, however, thought Ramona the true champion. But she is hilarious. And actually, I started to admire her when she gives the excuse, "Because I wanted to see what would happen." Usually in books it is the boys who are scamps, but Beverly Clearly makes a little girl about as naughty and mischievous as possible. She was ahead of her time.
And poor Beezus.....poor perfectionist, uptight Beezus. Oddly enough this first book is HER book, but she got edged out AGAIN by her annoying little sister and this eventually became the first book in the "Ramona" series....not the first book in the "Beezus" series. LOL She is probably in therapy now.
یک سال وقتی دبستانی بودم یک آقای خیلی مهربون از نشر کیمیا در نمایشگاه کتاب داستانش رو برام تعریف کرد و من همونجا به بابام التماس کردم که همش رو برام بگیره. بابا در یک حرکت قهرمانانه کل مجموعه رو برام به صورت پکی گرفت و من از شدت خوشحالی داشتن این پک خفن رسما جیغ میزدم این پک الان عملا از شدت خوانده شدن پیر شده و من و خواهرم انقدر این کتاب ها رو ورق زدیم که کاملا لایق بازنشتگی ان
کوچکتر که بودم، من رامونا بودم و چند سال بعد خواهرم شد رامونا و من شدم خود بیزوس برای خواهرم. می دونم که علاقه ی من به خواندن داستان های آمریکایی از همین کتاب شکل گرفت. الان که سال ها گذشته، فکر می کنم به طرزعجیبی این کتاب کودکانه بهم یاد داد که مردم آمریکا فقط تو خونه های بزرگ و سفیدشون در رفاه محض زندگی نمی کنند خانواده ی رامونا مشکلات مالی داشتند، رامونا همیشه نمی تونست هرچی می خواد بخره و مامانش مجبور شده بود کار کنه، و این اولین تصویر نیمه واقعی من از یک خانواده ی معمولی در جایی دیگر از دنیا بود. چقدر تاثیر یک داستان ساده می تونه عمیق تر از چیزی باشه که به نظر میاد
به زودی به انگلیسی می خونمش، می خوام حس خوبی که در این کتاب موج می زنه رو اینبار با قلم خود نویسنده تجربه کنم
Beezus could not help feeling annoyed. Miss Robbins was letting Ramona stay in the class—the one place where she was never allowed to tag along! Miss Robbins would probably like her painting, because it would be so full of imagination. Ramona’s pictures, in fact, were so full of imagination that it took even more imagination to tell what they were.
I’ve had Beverly Cleary on my mind for a while now ever since NPR did a story about her (as of this writing, she is 103 years old!), so it suddenly seemed ideal to take a break in the middle of the dystopian novel I’m reading and turn to the gentle adventures of Ramona Quimby and her long-suffering older sister, Beezus.
This book is the first in the series, written in 1955, and is the only one written from Beezus’ point of view (Beezus originated as a character in Cleary’s Henry Huggins novels.) Cleary didn’t write another Ramona book until 1968, and from then on every book was from Ramona’s point of view.
Ramona is four to Beezus’ nine in this book, and she IS pretty awful: ruining two of Beezus’ birthday cakes in one day, inviting her friends over for a party without telling anyone, and, worst of all, defacing a library book so she can keep it.
Cleary demonstrates why she’s an enduring, endearing children’s author here by having unshakable empathy for her characters. Kids can sniff out an adult who is not “one of us” in a heartbeat. And there’s an important message in here that it’s ok if you don’t always love your siblings.
I also like that Ramona’s actions have consequences, whereas too frequently in other stories like this the older sibling is instead at fault for not having unlimited, supernatural patience (to take one example, All's Faire in Middle School, a book by my beloved Victoria Jamieson that I didn’t really like for that very reason, amongst others.)
I feel a Beverly Cleary bender coming on and I’m here for it.
Bottomline: Started to read this to my 5year old.... neither of us were impressed, so we stopped.
I remember reading this series when I was little... and my daughter loves (and very much relates to Ramona's antics in) the movie remake that came out a few years ago... so we were both very excited about starting this book. But not very far in (maybe half way through the 1st chapter), my daughter just couldn't seem to get interested... for which I was thankful - because it just wasn't settling right with me, either. See, we are very much about respect in our home - no matter your size... and frankly, I found myself *disgusted* with the way they talked & treated Ramona just for being the "little kid/sister". Now I understand kids can be challenging and push your buttons. I have a very high-energy, spirited, imaginative little being, that is always elbow deep in some sort of "project" or "experiment"... but the overall tone of constantly being annoyed & bothered by *family* - and esp when it came to dealing with/handling the antics of the littles - does not fit into our family's philosophy, and is not the kind of model I need to set before my impressionable little person.
My own once-annoying little sister ran her first 5K this morning and texted me afterward to tell me she had done it, how happy and accomplished she was feeling. This is the perfect book to read on a day when I am thinking about her, since we certainly weren't always the sort of friends we are now.
I can't believe this book has been around since the 50's (aside from the fact that 9-year old Beezus spends her time playing checkers and making potholders). Its wisdom is contemporary and, dare I say it, healthy: You won't always love your family members in every moment. It's OK to admit that.
As a kid, I used to devour Beverly Cleary books and the Ramona series was no exception! I recently found a copy of Beezus and Ramona at the local used bookstore, and I picked it up to relive a bit of my childhood. As a child, I was drawn to the zest for life that Ramona brought to the page. However, on this go around, I found myself identifying with sweet, lovable Beezus. Her intelligent and quiet demeanor is such a contrast to that of Ramona's. I now have a younger sister and she is a lot like Ramona, so I can definitely see why Beezus gets so exasperated with her so often. This is a timeless story about the differences between sisters and the love that they share even when they don't like each other. This book, while heavily featuring Ramona, is more about Beezus and is told from her point of view. I'd recommend this book to young girls who have sisters that they feel like they just can't stand. It's relatable and timeless. Even though this book is over 50 years old (can you believe it!), it stands up to the test of time and is a standout volume of children's literature.
I read this as a kid, and I loved the book and the story. As a older sibling, I had several younger sibs to deal with... although I don't remember any of them being as quite annoying as Ramona! Some of the things she did actually made me chuckle as I read them although now as an adult I can not help but think of how absolutely aggravating it might have been to be Ramona's parents sometimes, especially with the apple bit.
Even though this book would be quite dated now (this happened in my grand- and great-grandparents time) even as a kid I enjoyed it nonetheless because of the quality storytelling, and still think it would be a fun read for kids today, showing how things were back then before video games or smartphones were even a distant possibility.
As a read-aloud, young children will relate to Ramona, and older, independent readers will feel Beezus's pain. This is my favorite Ramona book, because of the episode with the library book (I'm a librarian, see). Ramona, being only four, colors in the steamshovel book Beezus checked out for her from the library, and they have to pay for it. When the librarian stamps the book "Discarded," and prepares to hand it back to the girls, Beezus sees the danger just in time. If they give the book to Ramona, she will learn the lesson that any book you want to keep from the library, all you have to do is color in it! The book is given to Beezus, not Ramona, and a crisis is narrowly averted.
Oh how I wish I had encountered Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series as a child. But yes, even though I unfortunately did not experience Beverly Cleary’s work as a young reader, my childhood reading experiences in Germany with Astrid Lindgren (until we moved to Canada in 1976) do actually and in fact remind me very strongly and equally totally fondly of how I am now emotionally and textually feeling and reacting with regard to my perusal of the first series novel, with regard to Beezus and Ramona, towards nine year old Beatrice (Beezus) Quimby and her often fraught with total frustration and annoyance relationship with her rambunctious and demandingly selfish four year old sister Ramona. And yes indeed, that is pretty much a major and total compliment from me towards Beverly Cleary as an author, since Astrid Lindgren is and always has been a personal favourite and I would thus of course only laudably compare Cleary to Lindgren if I thought that what I am reading from her, from Beverly Cleary’s pen is in fact something wonderful and readably delightful, and which Beezus and Ramona most definitely is and for a multitude of reasons.
For albeit I actually do NOT AT ALL personally like Ramona Quimby as a character in Beezus and Ramona and find her a spoiled and entitled, often deliberately horrid and totally self-absorbed little brat, and who as the younger sister equally seems to oh so often get away with proverbial murder so to speak and as such of course also and naturally both infuriates and embarrasses her five years older sister Beezus (Beatrice), I actually do appreciate the realism portrayed by Beverly Cleary, and that she has with Ramona and Beezus depicted a relationship between siblings that will probably feel authentic and relatable to and for many of us readers who have to deal (or had to deal) with similar sibling scenarios, who have (or had) a younger sister or brother who could be a total proverbial thorn in our collective sides (and yes, even though Ramona as a depicted character drives me as batty as she obviously does poor Beezus, I do love seeing in Beezus and Ramona in many ways my own up and down relationship with my younger sister realistically portrayed in print, although I do wish that Beezus had less responsibilities with regard to looking after Ramona, as honestly, in many ways Beverly Cleary has in Beezus and Ramona older sister Beezus appear as kind of an unpaid nanny or babysitter, realistic perhaps, but also at the same time quite aggravating).
And furthermore, and yes indeed, this is what really has made my rating for Beezus and Ramona move from four to a solid and glowing five stars is that Beverly Clearly also and very much deliberately lets (in particular) her young readers textually and reassuringly know in Beezus and Ramona that it is acceptable, that it is alright for siblings to not always get along, that Beezus sometimes not being able to even remotely love her younger sister is totally fine, considering how unmannerly, embarrassing and annoying Ramona often can be, something that most definitely does feel oh so much better and positive than the often and usual heavy duty messaging about how important family is, that siblings always should get along and that older sisters and brothers need to be considerate, supportive and constantly accepting towards their younger siblings.
Somehow, even though I read and enjoyed other Beverly Cleary books as a kid, I'd never read any of the Ramona books until this week. Now I've just finished reading Beezus & Ramona with my 7-year-old, and it was such a revelation! We both loved it so much, and we were laughing hysterically in some parts. (The fabulous party scene!!!) It also had the loveliest and most nuanced conclusion about sibling relationships of any book I've read in a long time. We will definitely be devouring the rest of the series!
This was my 4 years first regular chapter book. We started out reading it, and then switched to listening to an audiobook during the commute to school.
The thing I personally found interesting was how different 4 year olds were treated in the 1950's versus now. I found myself amazed at how much freedom a 4 and 9 year old had: Walking to the library. Going to art glass, with Ramona basically playing in the park unattended. This is amazing to me, even though I know that it echoes my own childhood. Where I was allowed to play outside by myself at age 4 as long as I stayed on the block. Or when I was allowed to take the bus to the library by myself at age 9-10. (I should point out, that this was the 80s and I lived in a midwest town, population 40,000).
The other main thing I noticed was having to correct a few gender role issues. (In one scene Beezus remarks how Ramona is a girl and shouldn't be interested in construction themed books).
But the part that made it all worth it, was during a scene where Ramona did something really awful and Beezus was so upset and crying, and my daughter piped up from the back seat "Momma, I'm not actually crying, but I'm rubbing my eyes because I feel really sad".
And I was overjoyed, because I knew in that moment that my 4 year old got it...that empathy...that connection to characters that made me fall in love with reading.
I declare Operation: Chapter Books, a definite success!
مادر به آرامی فر اجاق را خاموش کرد، دستگیره ای برداشت، عروسک نیم سوخته و بقیه کیک را از داخل فر بیرون آورد بئاتریس خشمگین گفت: رامونا جرالدین کوییم بی! تو... وحشتناکی! جدا وحشتناکی ببین چه به روز کیک تولدم آوردی!؟ رامونا اعتراض کرد: خودت به من گفتی خیال کنم گرتل هستم! خب...مگر گرتل ، جادوگره را توی آتش هل نداد؟
خواهر کوچیکم عاشق مجموعه راموناست . من برای پیدا کردن راز این همه علاقه، به قفسه کتاباش دستبرد زدم و نه تنها پشیمون نیستم بلکه میخوام این کار رو واسه بقیه جلدهای رامونا هم تکرار کنم.شیطنت ها و خوشمزگی های رامونا خنده به لباتون میاره.
What a Way To Start The Ramona Series! Beezus and Ramona is a character driven chapter book that focuses on Beatrice (nicknamed "Beezus") Quimby, the 9-year-old sister of 4-year-old Ramona Quimby. The book is essentially a series of vignettes depicting the relationship between the two sisters, in which Ramona's mischief features prominently. The book is different from the other books in the Ramona series in that Beezus is the protagonist instead of Ramona. Thus, the book is essentially a portrait of a young sibling relationship--especially its challenges--from the perspective of an older sibling.
Since this chapter book is character- and relationship-driven, the plot is minimal. However, the vignettes do develop the central theme of Beezus's struggle to feel love for her sister. Beezus--the quintessential conscientious bookish first-born child, concerned about doing things right--worries over her periodic anger and resentment toward Ramona--the classic misbehaving baby of the family who always seems to get her way and wreck things for her sister.
Throughout the book, Cleary subtly paints an alternative picture of sisterhood in the happy relationship between Beezus's mother and her sister Beatrice (the aunt after whom Beezus was named). Beezus adores her Aunt Beatrice--she's a young, pretty, jovial schoolteacher that drives a yellow convertible; what's not to love?
The book culminates with Beezus's 10th birthday dinner, which Aunt Beatrice attends. A dinner conversation between Mrs. Quimby and Aunt Beatrice, in which they recall (with laughter) the sibling rivalry of their youth, helps Beezus re-envision her relationship with the exasperating Ramona. Beezus realizes that she doesn't always have to feel love toward her little sister, and she gains hope for a happier sister-relationship when they both get older. After all, if Aunt Beatrice was once a frustrating little sister, then there must be hope for Ramona too! I loved the imagination and sister bond. I would recommend this book for 5 and up.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Why did I never read any Beverly Cleary's works before? Yes, this is actually the very first book I've read by her, and it was a hoot! Except for one moment when I winced at one of Beezus' ideas (a girl can't like mechanical things), this was a fun little story. Ramona is a handful! And poor Beezus, trying so hard to be patient and appreciate her inventive and mischievous four-year-old sister. Typical exploits that had me laughing and laughing: inviting all the kids in her nursery school to a party, shutting Rigsy the dog in the bathroom, defacing a library book (I know, awful!!!), dumping an entire carton of eggs, shells and all, in the cake batter.....) The family dynamics were pretty much what I expected for the time period in which the story was written, but I loved the relationships between Beezus and her aunt and mother. A sweet story, and I'm curious about Ramona's other adventures.
I remember reading some, not all, of the Ramona Quimby series when I was a kid. I was delighted when Isabelle told me that Beezus and Ramona was the "read aloud" book at school - which means her teacher reads it aloud during snack time and after lunch.
I really love this series! I have as much fun reading these books to Isabelle as Isabelle does listening to me read them.
Beezus and Ramona introduces us to Ramona, and as a mother, I feel better just knowing that someone - Beverly Cleary! - seemed to understand what it's like to parent a difficult child like Ramona. It made me feel not so bad about my own kids' misbehavior. :P I like that it highlights the relationship between two sisters - they love each other, of course, but they don't always like each other, and that's okay.
From a kid's standpoint, Isabelle says she likes this book because when Ramona wants to get a library card, she tries to sign her name as a series of i's and t's. Yes, this is what Isabelle loves about this book! Clearly, Beverly Cleary understands children! She gets inside the head of Ramona and gives us a peek of what might be going through a child's mind. She shows us that even when Ramona misbehaves, there is some kind of reason for her behavior that is logical to a child.
When I was a child, I never read the Ramona books, because my mom thought they displayed Bad Attitudes and encouraged me to read other things instead. I never cared, but recently, I thought I should try out the classic stories for cultural knowledge and appreciation. I now have cultural knowledge and an increased appreciation for my mother's discernment. I really did not need to read this book when I was little, and would have been even more scandalized by it than I was now.
This book is well-written, has an authentic childlike voice, and includes an illustration with a stuffed panda bear, but I do not like it. I cannot like it. Ramona is an absolute brat, and even though some of her antics were merely childish, her overall behavior was dreadful and her parents made little to no effort to discipline or train her through any method other than "go to you room until you want to be good." Everyone treated her like a pest and interruption, but instead of training her, encouraging her to behave, and giving grace as she grew, the family thought they should just tolerate her rebellion, selfishness, and inconsiderateness until she "grew out of it." Yeah. When she's a teenager and her rebellion has real cost, I'm sure they'll wonder where they went wrong.
Not as good Ramona the Pest (Book #2.) In this first installment, Ramona is a 4 year old still learning to interact with family and friends. Parts were funny and in some parts, Ramona is a whinny brat trying to get her way by throwing temper tantrums, which is the part that I didn't care for.
Stockard Channing as the narrator in this audio book did an excellent job in projecting the different characters. Glad to see that she's the narrator for most of the Ramona Quimby books.
I know I read some of the Ramona books as a child but I don't have particularly strong memories of them, so listening to the audiobook was an interesting experience. Stockard Channing narrates this Listening Library edition and I was disappointed with the results. I really enjoy Channing's film and tv work, but the narration just didn't work for me. Her children's voices were either whiny or outright obnoxious which makes it hard for me to decide how much of my dislike of Ramona was the writing and how much was the narration. I had always remembered Ramona as being high-spirited and mischievous, but she's out and out badly behaved here, definitely a brat. I just recently read a comment from someone that they aimed to be a parent like one of the Quimbys and after listening to this, I found that amazing. Ramona is allowed to behave terribly and wiggle out of consequences through much of the book and what finally causes her parents to quite firmly put their feet down is when she mixes jelly with her mashed potatoes - a very minor thing compared to the temper tantrums, wastefulness of the apples episode, or the destruction of a library book. There are also some things that I think date the book significantly. The whole concept that Beezus and Ramona walk themselves to the library, or that four-year-old Ramona is expected to play by herself in the sandbox with no supervision while Beezus is in art class, even the embroidering of the pot holders for Aunt Beatrice all set this in a time that will be unfamiliar to kids now. I wonder if I would have liked this more with a different narrator or reading it in standard book format and I'm certainly interested in reading at least one more to see if they're more like what I half-remember. Also, the whole bathroom/hair washing thing is completely foreign to me - apparently the Quimbys only have one bathroom (not unusual) but they wash their hair in the sink which indicates to me that they don't have a bathtub or shower at all (this is what is unfamiliar to me). Also apparently they don't do it that often since it's made into a rather large event in the course of the story. That's just a very different dynamic from how I've been lucky to be able to live and it gave me food for thought.
I needed to read this one for a Copycat Challenge for my group. And man, did I hate this book.
Ramona is one of the most annoying, aggravating, stupid, idiotic characters I have ever seen (and I read a lot). I truly hated her, I don't care that she is 4 or 3 or 5 for all I care, she was a total horrendous kid. Doing whatever she wanted, and otherwise tantrum. She loved punishments (at one time in the story they decided not to give her any), she loved ruining, wrecking and destroying things, no matter if they are her property or not (that library book, that poor thing). The parents are pretty strict, but I think in in many of the cases they could (and should) be way more stricter. I hated her a lot, and that was already at page 1 or 2. I can't imagine how she will be later. I am sure she will be a total nightmare. Poor parents.
Then we have Beezus, another character that I didn't like. Only I had different reasons for her. She was just so darned negative. I cannot draw because boohoohohoho I have no imagination. Ramona this, Ramona that, boahhoahoho. And sure at times she was justified to cry and be negative, but a lot of times I was just thinking she could be a bit more positive.
The book is done in short stories. Which at times annoyed me, I wasn't expected a short story book, I was expected a long running story.
All in all, I won't be reading this series. I will in fact be avoiding it.
So good. Certainly, some of the things in the book don't hold up well on the cultural level -- Beezus playing Sacagawea in the school play, for one, and the bits about how Christopher Columbus discovered America -- but everything else absolutely does. In fact, a lot of how Cleary renders the Quimby family's position as lower middle class/working class is quite refreshing. It's rare to see now, and yet, it's reality. Fig Newtons were a dessert for this family, and Beezus getting a homemade (then store-bought, thanks to Ramona) birthday cake is a huge, huge deal. Not to mention that the house they live in is rented. The small details tell such a bigger story.
The book that introduces the character of Ramona Quimby. This book is told from the point-of-view of nine-year-old Beezus, Ramona's big sister. Ramona is only four-years-old and a massive brat in this story. YIKES! She attends nursery school and is learning about sharing but she hasn't quite matured enough yet not to be the most annoying, bratty little kid on the planet. I don't remember my siblings, cousins or nieces acting like this. (Notice I didn't say nephews....) Ramona is not spoiled though, her parents punish her when she's bad. The problem is, she's bad ALL the time and often on purpose. When her misbehavior stems from a misunderstanding, such as the incident with the library book, that's understandable but she does things like invite other kids to a party without telling her mother, takes a bite out of all the apples the family has stored in the basement and generally annoys Beezus. Actually that last one is my sister!
I found the message a little but heavy handed but how I wish my mom had read this book! Sisters don't have to be friends! I appreciated Mrs. Quimby and her sister's stories because they sounded a lot like me and my sister growing up. I also liked how Mrs. Quimby understands her elder daughter's feelings about her little sister and gives Beezus the OK to feel that way.
Reading this book as an adult in 2021 is very different from reading it as a child. If you read this with a young reader, it will seem dated! Please teach your children the original meanings of the word "gay" or it may cause some confusion and trauma (see also queer). The word "gay" is used to describe people and things a few times in the book. There's also a comment about how little girls aren't supposed to like machinery. That is going to make some Gen Z girls furious! Girls can like machines and boys can like quiet things!
There's a few other dated references and an eye opener of inflation. Father tries to hide Ramona's book behind the radio and the town has a radio and phonograph store. Kids will wonder What's a phonograph? A library picture book costs $2.50 to replace! Beezus thinks that would have bought a lot of things. WOW! Mother puts her hair in pin curls, father has handkerchiefs and Beezus is enthusiastic about getting a "grown up" sewing box for her 10th birthday. Kids today do sewing crafts but needlework and practical sewing are things grandmas do. The biggest difference between then and now is how much freedom the kids have. Beezus is allowed to take Ramona to the library ALONE just the two of them and they go to the park where Ramona is expected to stay in the sandbox while B takes art classes. That was unheard of in the 1980s when I was reading these books for the first time and even more unheard of today.
Gen Z readers will cringe at the dated American history lessons. Christopher Columbus was the "first person" to discover America. (cringe) and worse-Beezus is playing Sacajawea for the PTA and using a breadboard as a papoose. I would expect some outrage and questions there from young readers. Perhaps the age range is too young to pick up on that but some discussion will be needed there.
I don't think I liked this book any better when I was a kid than I do now. I'm glad it wasn't my introduction to Ramona and I got to know her as a peer, a friend and sympathize with her. Right now, I'm more sympathetic to Beezus. She's more literal minded than I am but otherwise she's pretty much me whenever my younger relatives are around!
So much better than Henry Huggins. I laughed out loud ("Father came right out and said he was fed up with frustrated steam shovels"); I recognized a tiny piece of my own childhood (like Ramona, I habitually colored in a narrow band of sky at the top of pictures, because sky is up); and not least, the book inclines slightly in the direction of having an emotional arc. I will venture further into this series.
A slight aside: my 1970s childhood had more in common with the 1950s (as depicted in this book) than the childhoods of kids in the 90s and beyond, but even in my youth I don't think it would've been considered okay to regularly leave a four year-old to play in a public park by herself for an hour or so.