Book Review: Beverly Cleary’s Beezus and Ramona

Posted October 7, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Middle-Grade readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Beverly Cleary’s Beezus and Ramona

Beezus and Ramona


Beverly Cleary

fiction in Paperback edition that was published by HarperFestival on June 8, 2010 and has 208 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
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Illustrator: Tracy Dockray

First in the Ramona Quimby middle-grade readers fiction series and revolving around a misbehaving younger child.

NOTE: Beezus and Ramona supports the Common Core standards…if that’s important to you.

My Take

This is a handy tale for those siblings who are the older sister (or brother) and that hate-hate relationship between siblings that turns into funny stories when you’re old enough. Well, actually, I suspect this is more useful to the parents who are dealing with older kids who are angry and/or irritated with younger kids. It’ll give you some ideas on how to deal with it…and with that need for attention.

I’m having a love-hate relationship with Ramona. I love that she’s adventurous and wants to try everything. I hate that she’s so naughty and demanding! Wait’ll you read the bit about the library book!! I wanted to smack her! I did, lol, love how Miss Evans handled it *more laughter*

LOL, yep, been there, tried to figure that out:

”Ramona’s pictures, in fact, were so full of imagination that it took even more imagination to tell what they were.”

It’s a series of vignettes with Ramona acting up throughout the events of the day: going to the library, walking down the street, temper tantrums when she doesn’t get her way or no one is paying attention to her, the impromptu “party”, wanting to be read to…from the same story…over and over, and more.

Cleary uses third-person point-of-view from Beezus’ perspective, so it’s easy to see her points. And one point that struck me was that it is important to try and spread the compliments amongst all the kids! As for Beezus’ frustrations in her art class? Yep, I totally identify with that *laughing (NOW)*

In the end, I can see Mother’s point, but Ramona needs a good smack-down!

The Story

Ohh, why does Beezus have to have a sister, especially one with such a wild imagination, a disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos!

Beezus knows she should be responsible and…sigh…love her sister (she knows she ought to). But Ramona makes it so hard, especially when Ramona practically ruins Beezus’s birthday party.

The Characters

Ramona Quimby is four years old and a major pain for her nine-year-old sister, Beatrice “Beezus”. Bendix is Ramona’s favorite doll. Ralph is her imaginary green lizard. Mother is Dorothy. Aunt Beatrice Haswell is the fun sister who teaches fourth-grade and drives a convertible. Beezus wants to be just like her!

Henry Huggins lives in the next block and is friends with Beezus. Ribsy is his dog.

Mrs. Wisser is a neighbor who lives down the block while Mrs. Kemp is a neighbor with two children: Willa Jean and Howie. Susan is one of the party guests. Miss Greever is the grown-ups’ librarian. Miss Evans is the children’s. Miss Robbins is the art teacher. Wayne is a naughty boy in Beezus’ art class while Celia is usually quite good. Howie was naughty in the sandbox.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a warm white background with the child actresses pictured on the left side of the cover. Sigh, you can immediately understand Beezus’ frustrations with Ramona when you catch sight of the “paint!” handprints on Beezus’ white V-neck sweater and blue jeans. The title and author’s name (about half the title’s size) are to the right of Beezus’ face in a deep purple using a quirky combination of capital letters and lowercase set all a’jumble.

The title is who the focus is on, Beezus and Ramona.