Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reading Ramona Take 3

Book 3: Ramona the Brave
First published in 1975, illustrated by Alan Tiegreen
190 pages, 9 chapters (New York: Avon Camelot)

First grade doesn't quite agree with Ramona. Her teacher doesn't like her. First grade work isn't as interesting as kindergarten work. Changes take place in the Quimby household as well. They build an addition on to the house--a bedroom for Ramona. To pay for it, Mrs. Quimby goes to work part-time. Ramona must make her own bed, bake cookies if she wants them, and deal with Howie's grandmother if she gets sick. Can brave Ramona can all these changes?

I'm beginning to notice the great words Beverly Cleary uses in her books. Here's a sampling from Ramona the Brave: chagrin, heroine, exasperating, astound, liberated, smithereens, and glorious. What fun it will be for young readers to puzzle out the meanings!

I liked how Ramona's creativity and imagination came out in this book: giving her owl glasses, making her own coloring book, and making a (bunny) slipper when she bravely forfeited her shoe to a dog. I was pleased to find that Ramona attends Sunday school and prays regularly. The prayers of a child are so sweet. These things only underscore the wholesomeness of Beverly Cleary's books.

My favorite quotes:
"She was bored, not napping. She had learned to think about schoolwork, and at the same time think about other things in a private corner of her mind" (79).

"Ramona could make an amazing number of things with paper, crayons, staples, and Scotch tape. Bee's wings to wear on her wrists, a crown to wear on her head, a paper catcher's mask to cover her face" (143-44).

Activities from Ramona the Brave:
Chalk Butterflies
Paper Bag Owls
Make Your Own Coloring Book
Play Brick Factory (Here in TN we have some red rocks we call "chalk rocks" that would make good substitute bricks.)

Up next, Book 4: Ramona and Her Father.

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