Ramona and Her Mother

Ramona and Her Mother

4.4 106
by Beverly Cleary, Stockard Channing

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Ramona just wants everyone to be happy. If only her father would smile and joke again, her mother would look less worried, her sister would be cheerful, and Picky-picky would eat his cat-food. But Ramona's father has lost his job, and nobody in the Quimby household is in a very good mood.

Ramona tries to cheer up the family as only Ramona can - by rehearsing for

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Ramona just wants everyone to be happy. If only her father would smile and joke again, her mother would look less worried, her sister would be cheerful, and Picky-picky would eat his cat-food. But Ramona's father has lost his job, and nobody in the Quimby household is in a very good mood.

Ramona tries to cheer up the family as only Ramona can - by rehearsing for life as a rich and famous star of television commercials, for instance - but her best efforts only make things worse. Her sister, Beezus, calls her a, pest, her parents lose patience with her, and her teacher claims she's forgotten her- manners. But when her father admits he wouldn't trade her for a million dollars, Ramona knows everything is going to work out fine in the end.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
Poor Ramona! Not quite eight, but half past seven, this enthusiastic dynamo is feeling one powerful emotion: unloved. Her older sister, Beezus, seems to do everything right--at least as far as Ramona's mom is concerned. So Ramona gloats just a bit when Beezus causes a stink about not being allowed to visit a professional hair stylist, instead of having her hair cut at home. When Ramona's mom goes back to work, and her dad hates his new job, other frictions visit on the Quimby household, making both girls worry that their parents are headed for divorce. Cleary keeps this book hopping, jumping easily from scenario to scenario. Its success, as in Cleary's other Ramona books, is in pulling our heartstrings and making us laugh. Readers will hoot as Ramona squirts every last drop from a new toothpaste tube--just because she always wanted to. We also see her nearly barf in the backseat of the car, and dye herself and her friend Howie bright blue. But it is when Ramona threatens to run away and her mother helps her pack, that we root hard for little "Nobody likes me!" Ramona. Of course, Mrs. Quimby has a trick up her sleeve: "You tricked me!" cries Ramona. "You made the suitcase too heavy on purpose. You don't want me to run away!" Of course not, says her mother: "I couldn't get along without my Ramona." Neither, I suspect can readers.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Ramona, in her own inimitable and highly entertaining way, tries to understand the world around her and overcome the difficult situations in her life. When she mistakenly arrives at the conclusion that nobody loves her, she thinks about leaving home. She's even more surprised when her mother helps her pack her clothes. In any language, children will relate to this winning heroine. The beautifully written prose translates smoothly into Spanish, and the black-and-white line drawings are the same as in the English edition.-Alexandra Gomez, New York Public Library

Product Details

Listening Library, Inc.
Publication date:
Ramona Series
Edition description:
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A Present for Willa Jean

"When will they be here?" asked Ramona Quimby, who was supposed to be dusting the living room but instead was twirling around trying to make herself dizzy. She was much too excited to dust.

"In half an hour," cried her mother from the kitchen, where she and Ramona's big sister Beatrice were opening and closing the refrigerator and oven doors, bumping into one another, forgetting where they had laid the pot holders, finding them and losing the measuring spoons.

The Quimbys were about to entertain their neighbors at a New Year's Day brunch to celebrate Mr. Quimby's finding a job at the ShopRite Market after being out of work for several months. Ramona liked the word brunch, half breakfast and half lunch, and secretly felt the family had cheated because they had eaten their real breakfast earlier. They needed their strength to get ready for the party.

"And Ramona," said Mrs. Quimby as she hastily laid out silverware on the dining-room table, "be nice to Willa jean, will you? Try to keep her out of everyone's hair."

"Ramona, watch what you're doing!" said Mr. Quimby, who was laying a fire in the fireplace. "You almost knocked over the lamp."

Ramona stopped twirling, staggered from dizziness, and made a face. Willa Jean, the messy little sister of her friend Howie Kemp was sticky, crumby, into everything, and always had to have her own way.

"And behave yourself," said Mr. Quimby. "Willa Jean is company."

Not my company, thought Ramona, who saw quite enough of Willa Jean when she played at Howie's house. "If Howie can't come to the brunch because he has a cold,why can't Willa Jean stay home with their grandmother, too?" Ramona asked.

"I really don't know," said Ramona's mother. "That isn't the way things worked out. When the Kemps asked if they could bring Willa Jean, I could hardly say no."

I could, thought Ramona, deciding that since Willa Jean, welcome or not, was coming to the brunch, she had better prepare to defend her possessions. She went to her room, where she swept her best crayons and drawing paper into a drawer and covered them with her pajamas. Her Christmas roller skates and favorite toys, battered stuffed animals that she rarely played with but still loved, went into the corner of her closet. There she hid them under her bathrobe and shut the door tight.

But what could she find to amuse Willa Jean? If Willa Jean did not have something to play with, she would run tattling to the grown-ups. "Ramona hid her toys!" Ramona laid a stuffed snake on her bed, then doubted if even Willa Jean could love a stuffed snake.

What Ramona needed was a present for Willa Jean, a present wrapped and tied with a good hard knot, a present that would take a long time to unwrap. Next to receiving presents, Ramona liked to give presents, and if she gave Willa Jean a present today, she would not only have the fun of giving, but of knowing the grown-ups would think, Isn't Ramona kind, isn't she generous to give Willa Jean a present? And so soon after Christmas, too. They would look at Ramona in her new red-and-green-plaid slacks and red turtleneck sweater and say, Ramona is one of Santa's helpers, a regular little Christmas elf.

Ramona smiled at herself in the mirror and was pleased. Two of her most important teeth were only halfway in, which made her look like a jack-o-lantern, but she did not mind. If she had grown-up teeth, the rest of her face would catch up someday.

Over her shoulder she saw reflected in the mirror a half-empty box of Kleenex on the floor beside her bed. Kleenex! That was the answer to a present for Willa Jean. She ran into the kitchen, where Beezus was beating muffin batter while her father fried sausages and her mother struggled to unmold a large gelatine salad onto a plate covered with lettuce.

"A present is a good idea," agreed Mrs. Quimby when Ramona asked permission, "but a box of Kleenex doesn't seem like much of a present." She shook the mold. The salad refused to slide out. Her face was flushed and she glanced at the clock on the stove.

Ramona was insistent. "Willa Jean would like it. I know she would." There was no time for explaining what Willa Jean was to do with the Kleenex.

Mrs. Quimby was having her problems with the stubborn salad. "All right," she consented. "There's an extra box in the bathroom cupboard." The salad slid slowly from the mold and rested, green and shimmering, on the lettuce.

By the time Ramona had wrapped a large box of Kleenex in leftover Christmas paper, the guests had begun to arrive. First came the Huggins and McCarthys and little Mrs. Swink in a bright-green pants suit. Umbrellas were leaned outside the front door, coats taken into the bedroom, and the usual grown-up remarks exchanged. "Happy New Year!" "Good to see you!" "We thought we would have to swim over, it's raining so hard." "Do you think this rain will ever stop?" "Who says it's raining? "This is good old Oregon sunshine!" Ramona felt she had heard that joke one million times, and she was only in the second grade.

Ramona and Her Mother. Copyright © by Beverly Cleary. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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