My Little Loves: Ramona Quimby


Despite the fact that it is 100 degrees outside, my inner clock says that FALL IS COMING!!

My inner clock also says that it is time to pull out my copy of Ramona the Brave.

The August before I started 4th grade, I cracked open my sister’s dog-eared copy of Ramona the Brave and became so absorbed in the story that I forgot to eat lunch.  (And I rarely forget a meal, my friends!)

Not only that, I went on to read Ramona the Brave every second week of August every single year until my senior year of college!  (I am a meticulous creature of habit!)

Even before I could read, I “read” Ramona the Brave using the illustrations scattered throughout the book.  In all, there were no more than ten pictures total which made it difficult to develop a cohesive storyline.

This photo, I remember, was especially challenging for my 4-year-old brain to interpret:

Why was the girl yelling at the cat?

Had the cat done something to upset the girl?

It had been my experience that cats bit and scratched you if you handled them too rough, so in the end I came up with this:

“One day the girl squeezed the cat too hard and then the cat bited and scratched the girl and the girl got mad and yelled at the cat and said STUPID CAT!  Never scratch me again, you dum-dum head!!”

Another illustration that I found especially intriguing (and a little frightening) was this one:

Why were there shadows on and behind the door?

Why was the girl all alone?

Why was there a stack of papers next to the door?

And what happened to the cat?

Unfortunately, this drawing was at the very end of the book when it should have been at the very beginning.  That way, I would have had more time to develop the story of what was going on behind that mysterious door!  Instead, all I had time to come up with was:

“The girl looked behind the door and there was a scary man behind the door so the girl throwed paper at the man and then runned home to her cat.”

You can only imagine my excitement when I finally discovered the REAL story behind those pictures!

After my Ramona the Brave experience, I began reading every Ramona book I could get my hands on.  Something about this mousy-brown-haired girl assured me that I wasn’t the only awkward little girl in the world.  In fact, Ramona Quimby and I were a lot alike:

Ramona waved her hand around when she wanted her teacher to call on her.

So did I!

Ramona had a bossy older sister.

So did I!!

Ramona and Leilani are both brats!

“No I’m not!!  MOOOOMM!  Lisa just called me a brat!!”

Even though Lisa and I were always at odds with each other, Ramona found a way to bring us together thanks to her television program (which we both LOVED!) that aired in the late 80’s.

A few years ago, I found a video tape of the entire series for just $2 at Blockbuster…but I didn’t buy it!!!

Why?

Because I’m a very, very stupid person, that’s why!

With that said, I absolutely refuse to watch the recently released Beezus and Ramona movie because the movie preview showed Ramona falling into a life-size peanut butter sandwich.  The only problem is that RAMONA QUIMBY NEVER EVER FELL INTO A GIANT PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!

Sorry, I just get a little worked up when people do not tell a story correctly.

I demand accuracy!

I guess I’m like Ramona in this way.

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4 thoughts on “My Little Loves: Ramona Quimby

  1. had the great fortune of leading a 3rd grade bookclub through “Ramona and her Father” which is one of the all time best stories concerning: family dynamics, unemployment, childhood anxiety, teamwork, and the celebration of a good booth where a family can enjoy milkshakes and cheeseburgers. Beverly Cleary certainly should have received some sort of Nobel Prize in my opinion…long live Ramona!!! p.s. your new painted wallpaper is exquisite…way to go!

  2. Ahhh….books. Ahhh….autumn. Oh, and speaking of “the brave,” did you ever read Applegate’s Home of the Brave–the one THAT DAVE AND I LOVE? The one your own personal librarian recommends?

    😉

    And now for the obligatory NPR quote:

    “Ah, fall. How I love it. After the torpor of summer, everyone alert and moving forward again—people reading again…people curious and inquisitive again!”

    –“Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian” sketch on _A Prairie Home Companion_

    • Such lovely imagery. I feel like I have been whisked into a calm and peaceful nirvana of deep thoughts.
      Thank you, I needed that!
      BTW, I have YET to read that book. Might give it a try after the ol’ Ramona. 😉

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