Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary is a prolific author and the book bunnies have read many of her books through the years. Last year, Marshmallow reviewed Beezus and Ramona, the first book by Cleary featuring one of her signature characters, Ramona Quimby. Today Caramel picks up the mantle and reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle, written in 1965, the first book featuring Ralph S. Mouse. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Caramel reviews The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

Sprinkles: So this week we are talking about a chapter book. This book has been sitting in your room for a while now. What made you decide to finally pick it up?

Caramel: Hmm, I don’t actually know. I just thought about reading it. I picked it up when I was sent to clean up my room.

S: Hmm, that worked out well, I suppose. So what do you want to tell us about it?

C: It has 186 pages, and then there are some extras. There is a note from Beverly Cleary. Then “Ralph answers some questions”, then “Ralph thanks the readers”, and then there is a section called “About the pictures in this book”.

S: Those sound interesting. But who is Ralph? I think we first need to clarify that.

C: Ralph is a mouse who lives in a knot hole in a hotel room, at the Mountain View Inn.

S: And that is supposedly in California, right?

C: I think so.

S: So what happens to Ralph? I’m guessing that he is the mouse in the title. Is that right?

C: Yes. He meets this boy named Keith. Keith has a toy sedan and a sports car, and an ambulance.

S: Does he also have a toy motorcycle?

C: Yes he does. And one day, Ralph tries to ride the motorcycle and falls in a waste bin.

S: That must be scary for him!

C: Yes it is.

S: Is that how he meets Keith?

C: Yes, and then they become friends. Apparently Ralph can talk, and Keith can understand him.

S: After all, this is fiction. We have seen talking animals before, right?

C: Yes, for example Babymouse talks!

S: And Verdi is a talking snake.

C: And we are talking animals!

S: That is true! We have discussed many other books where there are creatures that talk that are usually not expected to talk, at least to humans.

Caramel is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.
Caramel is reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.

S: I liked reading this book, but if people want to watch instead, there is a movie of it apparently. Here it is:

YouTube link to The Mouse And The Motorcycle – (Full, 1986).

C: I like this book a lot too! And I’m looking forward to reading the next two books.

S: So there are two more books with Ralph in them?

C: Yes!

S: I think I have not read those. Maybe you will review them for our blog some time.

C: I will.

S: Okay Caramel, so it is time to wrap this up. Let us finish by rating it in three words. What three words would you use to describe the book?

C: Adventurous, imagination, funny.

S: I like those words! I think I could add: “sweet”, “unexpected”, and “friendship”.

C: I like those too.

S: Great! So let us wrap things up! What do you say?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel enjoyed reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, and recommends it to all other young bunnies.
Caramel enjoyed reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary, and recommends it to all other young bunnies.

Marshmallow reviews Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

Marshmallow reviews Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary.

Through the years, Marshmallow has enjoyed reading several books by Beverly Cleary, the prolific writer of children’s books. Below she writes about Beezus and Ramona, the first book of Cleary featuring Ramona Quimby written in 1955.

Marshmallow reviews Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary.
Marshmallow reviews Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books that are about siblings or have enjoyed reading some of Beverly Cleary’s other books before, then this book might be for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Beezus (or Beatrice really, but everyone calls her Beezus) and Ramona Quimby are two sisters who are sometimes nice to each other and sometimes not. Four-year-old Ramona annoys her big sister Beezus a lot. For example when Beezus’s friend comes over, Ramona knocks their checker game over. Then she sticks her doll into Beezus’s birthday cake while pretending to be Gretel. After Ramona writes her name on every page on a library book that Beezus checked out for Ramona, Beezus is really very annoyed. As you can see Ramona is not a very nice little sibling.

Marshmallow is pointing at the page where we see some of Ramona's scribbles.
Marshmallow is pointing at the page where we see some of Ramona’s scribbles.

Ramona is a very realistic annoying sibling. For example, when she finds a lot of apples in the basement, she takes one bite out of each apple and then starts another one. The Quimby family has some exciting times, like when Ramona invites her whole nursery school class to a party without asking her parents if she could.

The author, Beverly Cleary, wrote this book as part as a series featuring Ramona, Beezus, and her friends. In fact Ramona did not come to be a central character till about ten years later when she wrote Ramona the Pest, in 1968.

Marshmallow’s review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is an old book, published even before my parents were born, but it is still a good read for readers who like books about sibling problems.

Beezus and Ramona is a classic like some other books that I have reviewed earlier, such as Half Magic and Five Children and It. It is also very funny and will make a lot of people laugh, like when Ramona powders her nose with marshmallows she calls “powder puffs”.

This is the first of a series of books by Beverly Cleary featuring Ramona Quimby. It is also one of my favorite books from the author. Ramona is very funny in this book. Some of my other favorite books by Beverly Cleary include Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Henry and Ribsy, Ellen Tebbits, Henry and Beezus, and Ramona’s World. I like these books because they are funny, well written, and realistic.

The drawings in the book add to the story’s description.

One thing I really enjoy about Beverly Cleary’s books is that they end well. In Beezus and Ramona the story ends… well I don’t want to spoil the end but let’s just say it ends well.

Marshmallow’s rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary 95%.
Marshmallow rates Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary 95%.