Book Review: Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary


Author: Beverly Cleary
TitleRamona and Her Father
Narrator: Stockard Channing
Publication Info: New York : Listening Library/Random House Audio Publishing Group, p1991.
Summary/Review:

I sadly deprived myself of Beverly Cleary books as a child, so I’m making up for lost time.  In this Ramona Quimby book, her father is laid off meaning that Ramona spends more time than usual with her father at home.  There are a lot of sweet father-daughter moments that touch me as a daddy myself.  But Ramona’s father can also be cranky and short-tempered, especially from being unemployed and forced to quit smoking by his daughters.  It’s a funny and timeless book about childhood and family.
Favorite Passages:

I’ll bet that boy’s father wishes he had a little girl who finger-painted and wiped her hands on the cat when she was little and who once cut her own hair so she would be bald like her uncle and who then grew up to be seven years old and crowned herself with burs. Not every father is lucky enough to have a daughter like that.

Rating: ***1/2

Book Review: Stuart Little by E.B. White


Author: E.B. White
TitleStuart Little
Narrator: Julie Harris
Publication Info: New York : Bantam Audio, p1965.
Books Read By Same Author: Charlotte’s Web and Trumpet of the Swan
Summary/Review:

Listened to this audiobook on a road trip to New York City, appropriately enough.  The titular character is born in New York, surprising his human family by actually being a mouse.  The novel is mostly episodic adventures where Stuart escapes a cat, sails on model boats in the Central Park ponds, and gets caught in the trash.  There’s also an oddly philosophical chapter in which Stuart serves as a substitute teacher.  The book is full of humor and adventure that makes it a classic.

My son believes that the ending is unsatisfactory, and he does have a point.
Favorite Passages:

I’ll make the work interesting and the discipline will take care of itself. – Stuart discusses his teaching strategy.

Recommended books: The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Rating: ***1/2