Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary

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I have had my three girls home with me all summer. We have some afternoon activities and we will drive to the lake/pool, so there is plenty of time in the Odyssey. We have been listening to some of Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins books while we drive around.

Henry and Ribsy is the third book in the Henry Huggins series. Henry is a young boy who lives in Oregon with his parents and his dog Ribsy. There are many other children on Henry’s street, and there is always something happening. Ribsy has always played a supporting role in the Henry books, but in this book, Ribsy’s actions have more of an impact on the plot. Henry wants to go salmon fishing with his father, but he needs to prove that he is responsible and that he can keep Ribsy out of trouble. Will Henry be able to go fishing with his father?

Henry and Ribsy is a very funny book. Ribsy doesn’t mean to be a naughty dog, but he is rambunctious. This leads to several mishaps, the funniest of which involve Ramona Quimby, who would go on to star in a series of her own. At this point in her life, she is merely a neighborhood pest. When Ribsy eats Ramona’s ice cream cone, it sets off a hilarious chain of events.

I would recommend Henry and Ribsy to middle grade readers. Younger children might also enjoy this book as a read aloud. I would suggest reading the series in order, but the books function well as stand-alone titles too. The series is set in the 1950s; it’s a little dated in terms of how much things cost, but there is still so much that Henry has in common with modern children.

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