What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the sparkling writing style and humorous story line are both engaging and highly appealing. Although referred to as a "pest," Ramona is a young protagonist with pure intentions and common fears. Writing may contain some big words that might require further definition when being read to/by younger readers. Art ranges from simple sketches to detailed line drawings and complements the text well.
What's the story?
Ramona has waited all her life for kindergarten, and the day is finally here! So, is this rambunctious five-year-old ready for all the rites of passage and life lessons that go along with it? This is a humorous and charming chapter in the ongoing saga of one of America's favorite little pests.
Is it any good?
Rarely has any author had such compassionate, yet droll, insight into young children. Beverly Cleary has a unique talent for getting inside her characters' heads -- there are few books as good for building empathy in young children as the Ramona series. Even when Ramona is at her worst, the reader always has humorous sympathy for her. The author is also expert at writing in a language that speaks to a kid's imagination, and illustrator Louis Darling provides charming line drawings.
Older kids enjoy looking back at their not-too-distant kindergarten years. Ramona helps children understand others -- and themselves. Even though the book is filled with pesky juvenile behavior, it's almost always curtailed and corrected by parents and teachers. And Ramona isn't all bad; one tender moment about sharing a red ribbon shows Ramona has more sides to her personality than just pest.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about misunderstandings. Do you understand Ramona's point of view? Have you ever felt like she does? Is she a pest?