At last Beverly Cleary has given Ramona Quimby a book of her own. No longer is she the shy nemesis of Henry Huggins or the exasperating responsibility of Beezus. Instead she is a five-year-old with spirit'and a rare opportunity to explain her side of things.
The story deals with Ramona's entrance into kindergarten, a memorable event for all concerned. Whether Ramona is proving what a good rester she is by snoring delicately during quiet time or whether she is pulling Susan's tempting curls, she makes her presence known. Most of the time Ramona loves her teacher, Miss Binney, wholeheartedly. How Miss Binney feels is anyone's guess. Mrs. Quimby tells her daughter, "She will never forget you as long as she lives."
Nothing seems quite so funny to children as the tales of what they did when they were little. Here then is an account of kindergarten days for readers who have passed that awkward stage. Many will find that Ramona's escapades hilarious; others will be moved by her struggles to make a place for herself in an uncomprehending world.
Poor Miss Binny has her hands full with a class of curious kindergarten children starting their first day of school in Beverly Cleary's reillustrated, Harper Trophy edition chapter book. Ramona cannot control her emotions for what she feels is the most exciting day of her life. She would finally catch up with her sister Beezus on learning everything there is to know. When Miss Binny leads her to one of the classroom tables and tells her to, "sit here for the present" the fun begins. Ramona mistakenly believes she has been singled out to receive a present from her teacher. When she refuses to leave her seat in class for anything because she is expecting the present at any moment, Miss Binny has to explain the situation to her. And this is only the beginning, as Ramona weaves her way into the reader's heart. One of the problems I had with this story was that since it was first published, the times have changed drastically. Ramona and her friend Howie are encouraged to walk to school unsupervised, which also includes crossing a street by themselves. As popular and charming as the Ramona books are, this was a bother to me.