Tag Archives: Beverly Cleary
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary.
We are simply flying through the chapter books these days! I have a pretty substantial collection, but at this rate we will have gone through them all before the summer is over. I pulled this one off the back of the bottom shelf. It’s a worn old ex-library paperback with a cracked spine and yellowed pages. Which is to say: it’s a classic. So appropriate for my son in so many ways. Beloved spunky younger sister Ramona Quimby is staple of children’s literature. She is also a Portland native entering first grade. My son is a Portland native entering first grade at Beverly Cleary School. It seemed like the perfect book to pick up. Becoming a first grader is a really big deal in our house. We are already being reminded of the stuff he used to do back when he was a Kindergartner (last week). Those were the days!
I love reading Beverly Cleary books. Written in the 1950s-60s, the have a lot of that old-timey feel of a life that simply doesn’t exist anymore. Henry Huggins delivering the evening papers before picking up some horse meat from the butcher to feed his dog Ribsy. Stuff like that. Ramona the Brave focuses on Ramona and on her life with her parents and big sister, Beezus. It’s about growing up and about being a kid. It’s about sudden moments of self-awareness and awareness of the world outside of oneself. There’s a number of books from the world of Klickitat Street in Portland. I think after this one we are going to read a Henry Huggins story. It’s a “boy” story so it will be full of scrappiness and clubhouses and getting dirty. But the Ramona and Beezus ones are great. I recommend you read them all this instant.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Keith is an only child on a road trip with his parents. His prized belonging, which he has carried with him all over the place, is his collection of toy cars and, especially, his toy motorcycle.
Ralph is a young mouse living in a knothole at a hotel with his family. When Keith moves in to Ralph’s room, Ralph cannot help but admire the shiny chrome motorcycle which is just the right size for a mouse. Unfortunately, during a surreptitious test drive, Ralph gets startled and tumbles, cycle and all, into the garbage can. When the boy discovers Ralph, he is sure that’s the end of him but what do you know? Keith is actually super nice! He even shows Ralph how to make the motorcycle drive! Thus begins the friendship and adventures in Beverly Cleary’s classic story.
I began reading this to my son a week ago, partly because he will be attending the Beverly Cleary elementary school next year. It’s a great book to read out loud to kids: nice short chapters and nothing too complex going on. I love coming to the end of a chapter and hearing: “Can we read just one more chapter, please??” Music to a librarian’s/father’s ears.