A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ramona the Pest is the second book in the Ramona series, which begins with Beezus and Ramona. Its 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. An audiobook version of both this book, as ell as the whole five-book Ramona series, is narrated by Stockard Channing.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Ramona has waited all her life for kindergarten, and the day is finally here! So, is this rambunctious 5-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.