The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection
Adults are often just like kids but bigger and with marginally better balance on two-wheelers. While many of us instead nurture the belief that kids are irrational and annoying and inept, Beverly Cleary–the goddess, still alive as of this writing at 101–shows mastery of opening up a child’s mind and finding truths fit for any age.
This audio collection contains all of the Ramona books, following her from age 4 to age 10 (and conveniently also her sister Beezus’ journey from age 9 to 14). I’m no parent, but following these stories bears compelling witness to the precious journey from courageous young child to confident young adult. Throughout these books you get Ramona’s inner feelings (and more importantly, the inner inner feelings she doesn’t want to be feeling but does) as she navigates an overachieving sister, teachers who confuse or upset her, her parents losing and gaining jobs, friendships that grow and fade, and countless other timeless struggles.
Take for example the long-running saga of Ramona and her classmate Susan’s curly hair, which Ramona likes to pull and allow to spring back as she chuckles “Boing!” This starts as a primal childish interest, which morphs as Ramona ages into a manifestation of her resentment of Susan for being a know-it-all and a fake, but finally culminates in shame and regret after the mature realization that Susan acts how she does because she herself is insecure and jealous of Ramona’s easy confidence. To me, that is authentic and emotional storytelling that resists infantilization or anodyne morality. These stories also avoid the “Full House” effect, where there’s a conflict that ends in an overenunciated talk session and a new and improved equilibrium. Instead, we see characters grow in fits and starts, spooled out across eight books.
Stockard Channing, who I knew only as Abby Bartlett from the West Wing, just crushes the audio in these works, like seriously go to the library (I listened through the ‘hoopla’ iPhone app) and start listening on the way to work or whatever. Do it for Beverly, who despite the timelessness of her work will not be with us forever.
This was a good The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection ! Sometimes, when reading children’s book, you start to get annoyed, but not with this one, no. This was a really funny, entertaining and enjoyable book – 19 hours of pure delight. The narrator was trying to talk as a little girl, which sounded like a boy, but it was ok. And the little soundtrack before each book was so Ramonish☺️
I saw the movie first and thought it was based on one book. It turned out all eight books were summed up, with little changes.
This version includes all eight books. I was just lazy to add all the books.
Highly recommended if you want to remember what it was like to be a child or have children and are not afraid for them to pick up Ramona’s some out of mind doings.
I didn’t know about this author, just looked at her picture, it looks like old Ramona, definitely!