Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ramona the Brave (Ramona Quimby #3) by Beverly Cleary


Up until now, we've been reading Ramona books illustrated by Tracy Dockray. I really like her drawings because they do such a great job of conveying the emotions of each character - from elation to concern to anger. Illustrations definitely add to the story, helping Isabelle to put a greater context around the words being read.

Since we're going through the series by borrowing books from the library, we read whatever editions are available. With this book, for the first time, we encountered a different illustrator - Alan Tiegreen. I thought Isabelle might not like the change, but she told me that in school, her teacher reads books illustrated by yet another person, who turned out to be Jacqueline Rogers. This is great! I personally prefer Tracy Dockray's pictures because Alan Tiegreen's drawings look, well, not so cute. :P But they do do an equally good job of bringing the story to life, and I love that Isabelle is seeing different interpretations of the same characters.

In Ramona the Brave, Ramona is in first grade, just like Isabelle! Ramona begins to learn a few things about people and relationships - other people may sometimes behave in ways that belittle you, and some people (like teachers) may misinterpret situations in such a way as to misunderstand you completely. Poor Ramona! I really felt for her in this book. I think every person has some strong memory of being misunderstood as a child.

Interestingly, while I focused on the emotions and the possible take-away lessons, Isabelle said her favorite thing about this book was the brick factory game that Ramona played with Howie. How typical! :) The parent tries to emphasize some worthy lesson, but the child really just wants to enjoy the story. :P

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