My girls and I actually listened to Ramona and Her Father last summer, but I never got around to writing the review. This is the fourth book in Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby series.
In this book, Ramona is still struggling to find her place in the world and in her family. Things are somewhat complicated because her father has recently lost his job. They are already on a budget, and now they must become even more frugal.
This book is somewhat dated because a major plot point involves Ramona trying to get her father to quit smoking- both for his health and also because of the money he can save. When I first read this book in the 1980s, I could empathize with Ramona’s plan because my own father smoked cigarettes. But my girls’ experience is vastly different because neither of their parent smoke, nor do we know anyone who smokes cigarettes. They were somewhat surprised at the smoking, but were charmed by Ramona’s attempts to get her father to quit.
In every book, Ramona becomes more and more independent and she moves away from the reputation as a “pest” that she earned in a previous book. She wants very much to be helpful, but she still manages to get herself into scrapes- like getting a crown of burrs stuck in her head after an attempt to emulate the boy in the margarine commercial.
I would recommend Ramona and Her Father. This book functions well as a standalone, but I would recommend reading the series in order to gain a sense of appreciation for Ramona’s childhood journey. This book may have been published almost forty years ago, but there are still many aspects that today’s children can appreciate; some childhood experiences are universal.