Ribsy was a very fun book to read, and it works perfectly fine as a standalone book—that is, you don’t have to read other Beverly Cleary books first, though it might be even more delightful if you have so that you can appreciate a few small passages, like when the stranger girl Ramona comes up and annoys Ribsy. A familiar Homeward Bound-esque story about a lost dog struggling to find home again, Ribsy is entertaining and manages to feel original. Each mini adventure along Ribsy’s trek back to Klickitat Street is exciting and kids will love getting inside a dog’s brain as Ribsy tries to understand a cast of lovable characters.
Parents should discuss with their reader the way that Ribsy’s boy Henry and some of the other boys at a school infrequently show harmful bias when in a couple instances it’s expressed that the boys think girls are dumb. For example, “[a]ll the boys laughed. They were sure they would be good at drilling holes,” in response to a woman’s struggle to drill holes into a critter’s cage; and “Beezus, who, for a girl, was very sensible.” Considering Ramona expresses her own untoward views about boys at times in Cleary’s other books, these instances in Ribsy felt more like outdated attempts at playfulness, but still important to discuss.
Nov 9, 2020