Ramona the Pest

post written by Emma Filbrun

Ramona the Pest by Beverley Cleary Title: Ramona the Pest
Author: Beverley Cleary
Major Themes: Children
Synopsis: Ramona is now going to Kindergarten, and a lot of people in her life consider her a pest.

My children love the Ramona books. I remember greatly enjoying them, too, when I was young. I still enjoy the stories—but I read them now from the point of view of a mother and some things just aren’t very funny. For example, in Ramona the Pest, Ramona can’t understand why Howie doesn’t just make a “great big noisy fuss” when he doesn’t get his way. It always works for her! We had a little discussion about that concept when I was reading the book, and were agreed about what should have happened to Ramona when she tried such a thing.

In this book, Ramona is just starting kindergarten. She is in the morning kindergarten, and adores her teacher—and is sure that her teacher likes her best. After all, she is told to “sit at this table for the present!” When she waits patiently all morning and still doesn’t receive a gift, she is very puzzled. After the misunderstanding is cleared up, however, she still loves her teacher.

Ramona and her friends learn a lot in kindergarten. They sing the “dawnzer” song every morning—a dawnzer must be some sort of lamp, Ramona decides. Ramona loves to chase Davy every day, and she loves to look at Susan’s boing-boing curls. What fun it would be to pull them and see them spring back. Can she learn to give in to others just a little, though?

Several of the stories are just fun stories of the way young children think and act. The naughtiness displayed, uncorrected, in others, is not good; we discussed what should have happened in those stories—what would have happened in our family if someone had acted the way Ramona acted.

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