You’ve most likely laughed at the troublemaking stray dog, Ribsy, and his hopeful owner, Henry. You’ve cheered the spitfire spirit of Ramona Quimby and rolled your eyes at her sister, Beezus. Beverly Cleary, the creator of these characters and author of three generations’ worth of beloved children’s books, passed away on March 25, 2021, at the amazing age of 104 years-old.
Cleary won young readers (and their parents) over with her witty and tender writing, perfectly encapsulating the big emotions and challenges of childhood. She wrote over 40 books in 50 years, winning almost every honor a children’s book author could win along the way. Though her most famous series (Henry Huggins and Ramona Quimby) should not be missed, there are some hidden treasures within her extensive collection that are just as essential. Basically, you’ve heard of Ramona, but do you know about a cat named Socks?
Here are eight overlooked Cleary books we think deserve classic status too.
8. Emily’s Runaway Imagination (2008)
7. Dear Mr. Henshaw (2000)
6. The Hullabaloo ABC (1960)
5. The Mouse & the Motorcycle (1965)
A young mouse in a motel gets the chance to live the life of speed and adventure he’s always dreamed of when a young boy rents a room with his family– and brings his toy motorcycle with him. Better get the hardcover version of this if you can– these pages will quickly wear from repeated use.
4. A Girl from Yamhill (1988)
3. Jean and Johnny (1959)
2. Two Times the Fun (2005)
1. Socks (1973)
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