Emily’s Runaway Imagination // by Beverly Cleary


//published 1961//

This book, delightfully illustrated by Beth and Joe Krush (I LOVE THEIR ILLUSTRATIONS), is one of my childhood favorites.  Set around 1920, Emily and her family live in a rambling old house in a small town in Oregon.  In my mind, this book is everything a children’s book should be – uplifting, entertaining, with gentle lessons about understanding, sympathy, sharing, industry, and kindness.  Throughout the book, Emily helps to found the town’s library, rides in her grandfather’s brand new automobile, learns that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and also comes to understand that just because someone looks and/or talks different from you doesn’t mean that they can’t be a friend.

There is a gentle poignancy to the stories, and I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting them.  Emily’s Runaway Imagination features an inventive, engaging, and lovable heroine and is excellent bedtime story material.  5/5.