My latest is the second book in the Ramona Quimby series, the time when Ramona ditched being a “babyish nursery schooler” and became a Big Kindergarten Girl!
But she’s still Ramona, so you know it is going to be interesting!
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ramona Quimby is ready for Kindergarten, but is Kindergarten ready for her?
Ramona The Pest was released in 1968, thirteen years after Beezus and Ramona, and despite being Ramona’s second book, was the first to focus on her almost. Beezus, who played a more prominent role in the first book, takes on a very minor role in the book.
“Ramona The Pest” takes place about a year after the events of Ramona’s series debut, “Beezus and Ramona”. It’s the beginning of a new school year, and Ramona will be going to Glenwood School along with all the bigger kids on her block, but in the Kindergarten building during the morning session. There’s all kinds of new adventures for Ramona to engage in – seat work, writing letters of the alphabet, Show and Tell, Gray Duck…and the bounciest curls on the bossiest girl in her class.
Ramona is in a hurry to grow up, but also determined to live in her moment and impress the heck out of her teacher, Miss Binney. This, however, only seems to cause even bigger problems for Ramona. And then there was the one day Ramona’s penchant for trouble finding her really catches up to her…
Will Ramona be a Kindergarten Dropout?
I loved this story, perhaps moreso than “Beezus and Ramona.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed that story, but the shift in perspective is what I love most. As a literary character, I’ve always loved Ramona. I also love how much of this book I remembered, despite not having read it since 4th grade. The part about “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” (“when does he go the bathroom?”) is classic – I remembered it immediately!!! I love Ramona’s persistence to do all the things Beezus gets to do in school, but how this persistence tends to backfire on her.
The animation in this version of the story (I originally read the 1990 version, this time around, I read the 2006 version) is super cute, as it always was. You want Ramona’s imagination to persevere, and for her to find her way without trouble finding her!
Highly recommend, even for adults looking to re-read the series!