Review of The Art of Ramona Quimby: Sixty-Five Years of Illustrations from Beverly Cleary's Beloved Books

The Art of Ramona Quimby: Sixty Five Years of Illustrations from Beverly Cleary's Beloved Books
by Anna Katz
Chronicle    256 pp.    g
9/20    978-1-4521-7695-6    $40.00

This homage explores Cleary's beloved character through artwork by her five primary illustrators: Louis Darling, Alan Tiegreen, Joanne Scribner, Tracy Dockray, and Jacqueline Rogers. After a foreword by Annie Barrows, a preface by Katz, brief biographical information about Cleary and the illustrators, "Cast of Characters," and "A Note About Henry Huggins," we're taken, book by book, through Ramona's illustrated world, beginning with Beezus and Ramona. Spreads include excerpts, annotations, and side-by-side illustrations; Dockray's, Roger's, and Darling's bunny-eared Ramona encountering Mrs. Wisser, for example. The art notes are engaging, with illuminating tidbits, and seeing the pictures side by side is gratifying for fans, who will likely have a favorite set, or at least one they remember best. Those unfamiliar with the stories may be confounded by meeting Ramona through snippets, but for super-fans, this volume will be catnip (hi, Picky-picky). Back matter includes an afterword by Rogers, reproductions of Darling's correspondence with Cleary, and Dockray's sketches.

From the March/April 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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