Subscribe to The Horn Book

>Bring back Louis Darling!


Some on the ALSC listserv are complaining that a new ALA poster lacks ethnic diversity. (If you squint you can see two kids of color in the background.) But the poster is based on Beverly Cleary’s major characters (white people all, yes?) as seen in their latest editions, illustrated by Tracy Dockray. As black-and-white illustrations within the books, Dockray’s drawings are serviceable but bland; on this poster they look generic and thus, I think, the complaints. Dockray’s illustrations have not taken enough hold that people look at this poster and think, “ah, Ramona!” They just see (mostly) white people, so the slogan “Libraries are for everyone!” seems a little optimistic.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >Speaking of Ramona, what are the feelings regarding the new "Ramona and Beezus" movie that is being released this week?

    I think it is obvious that they changed the order of the names in the title (the book of course being titled "Beezus and Ramona") to highlight the appearance of Selena Gomez.

    I am also not sure about the casting: Beezus is described as being kind of gawky and awkward, and I think that Selena Gomez is too pretty (in an obvious way) to really portray Beezus as Beverly Cleary wrote her.

  2. Anonymous says:

    >also, i know this is a ramona-centric poster, but can we get a mouse somewhere? on a motorcycle?

  3. Anamaria (bookstogether) says:

    >I miss Alan Tiegreen, too.

  4. iconoclast says:

    >I think they just changed the title because, um, the movie isn't based on the book Beezus and Ramona. Anyway, genuinely puzzled: how does changing the order of the names highlight the actress playing Beezus?

  5. Roger Sutton says:

    >Anamaria, yes, it seems to me like each generation of illustrations for the Ramona books has gotten less distinctive, but maybe it's more about what you grew up with.

    Iconoclast, I'm reminded of the billing for George Clooney's Ocean's Eleven, where the last credit was "and introducing Julia Roberts."

  6. >What I meant was that by mentioning Beezus last, I thought the story was going to focus on her (meaning Selena Gomez), and give the audience her POV throughout the movie, when the real star of the books was always Ramona. Even in the book "Beezus and Ramona" (which the movie is not based on, though I mistakenly thought it was at first) which is told from Beezus' POV, Ramona is the center of the story from the very first sentence.

    I should have explained better, so my apologies.

  7. >I don't mind his illustrations of Ramona, but this does not work as an ALA poster. Thank you for pointing out that the glaringly all white-cast does not match the slogan "Libraries are for Everyone". I thought I was the only one who noticed…

  8. >I am sorry if this question is a little off the main topic of the ALA poster, but could someone please tell me what illustrator did the covers for the Ramona stories from the Dell Yearling books?

    The image of her face on "Ramona Quimby, Age 8" has always stayed with me.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind