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The characters created by Beverly Cleary are as fresh today as when they were first published. Her understanding of children and their real-life concerns are reflected in her books for readers of all ages.
Many already know Ramona and the Quimbys, but have you met Maggie Schultz or Henry Huggins? How about Emily Bartlett or Ralph S. Mouse? What about Janet and Jimmy? They're all just as memorable and it's likely that readers will see themselves as they meet new friends in the pages of books by this amazing author.
Having a four-year old sister like Ramona can be a real pain as 9-year old Beezus (aka Beatrice) knows all too well. Ramona likes to do things in her own often pesky, frequently funny, and always imaginative way. The movie version of the modern classic is due out in March 2010.
A young boy, Leigh, begins writing letters to a famous author, Mr. Henshaw, revealing what's going on in his life — like his parents' divorce — as he gradually matures and finds his place in the world. Leigh's voice is plausible and poignant.
Emily Bartlett lives in a farmhouse in a small Oregon town during a time when cars are still unusual and libraries are rare. When spring comes, Emily feels that something wonderful will happen — and it does! Without modern forms of entertainment, Emily makes her world come alive for young readers.
Henry Huggins is a regular kid who longs for some excitement in his otherwise normal – and he thinks boring life. When it arrives in the form of a scrawny dog he names Ribsy, the adventures and laughs begin!
Janet and Jimmy are twins but like all siblings, Janet doesn't want Jimmy to touch her stuff. She takes her mother's suggestion and puts her "thingamajigs" in a special place. Janet's thingamajigs are dispatched when her special place, her crib, is replaced by a regular twin bed and the twins realize they're growing up. Full color illustrations complement the tone of this recognizable milestone in children's lives.
Chuck throws caution to the wind, along with safety rules, when he rides on his spiffy new red motorcycle. That is, until he's brought back to reality by a highway patrol officer! Lively, alliterative language and realistic illustrations combine for this funny cautionary tale.
Maggie stubbornly refuses to learn cursive in third grade; those curves and connections between letters are silly (hence the Muggie!). With a little help from a perceptive teacher, however, Maggie is able to change her opinion without losing her dignity.
Otis Spofford likes to stir up a bit of excitement at home and in his third grade class; nothing awful, of course, just enough to keep things interesting. But he meets his match when he teases Ellen Tebbits and gets his comeuppance!
Petey loves bedtime, because that's when he gets to hear the story of when he was born. Complete with fire trucks and wheelchairs racing through hospital halls, Petey takes over and embellishes his own story. Children and their parents will recognize themselves in this very funny book.
Ralph is a mouse who speaks human and lives at the Mountain View Inn run by Ryan’s family. The fun starts when Ralph’s motorcycle breaks and he convinces Ryan to take him to a mysterious place called school. Characters come to life through the lively narration.
Ramona deals with her father's job loss, her mom's return to work, and the normal trials of second grade in her own unique and very funny fashion. Her campaign to get her father to stop smoking is both a humorous and a very Ramona way to show her love for him.
Ramona is ready for the challenges of a new school — without her older sister. It's a year of change for the Quimby family and if everyone else can adjust, so can Ramona. The normal challenges of family life come alive here with verve and humor.
Ramona loves kindergarten and her wonderful teacher, Miss Binney. But even the best teacher and the most enthusiastic kindergartner can have a rough day or so. This leads to laughs for readers as they empathize with Ramona, who can be rather a pest and perhaps the first-ever kindergarten dropout.
Ramona, now starting 4th grade, gets a teacher who is a stickler for proper spelling. Ramona is propelled into writing a letter when she finds an error in an advertisement — all with the verve and humor readers expect of Ramona.
Socks has a difficult start in life, but things get much better when he is taken in by the Brickers. The young couple adore their feline friend. But when the baby arrives, Socks loses his place at the center of the Brickers' universe. Socks' antics are both humorous and recognizable in this engaging novel. Older siblings will relate!
While on a family vacation in California, the Gridleys stay in an old hotel where a mouse named Ralph finds a toy motorcycle and meets Keith, the youngest Gridley. Thus begins a friendship and a memorable adventure of a mouse on a motorcycle. Ralph's adventures continue in Ralph S. Mouse (1982).
Four picture books about twins, Jimmy and Janet, have been newly formatted and illustrated to create an appealing and attractive chapter book. Readers will see themselves in the characters as they try to carve out their own space within their family. This is an ideal read aloud for younger children or a solid read alone for independent readers.
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