Reading In The Development Of Imagination And Gender

1487 words - 6 pages

Children are automatically drawn to what they feel relates to them the best. From clothes to games, and even literature, children are attracted to certain elements that separate what’s “girly” and what’s “boyish”. Most children literature is designed in a manner that attracts a specific crowd. The authors and illustrators of children literature take into consideration whether they want their book to be intended for girls or for boys. However, in the story Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary, deception as to which crowd the book was intended is shown throughout the story. The books unique style has the ability to capture both young boys and young girls. By containing general phrases and avoiding specific representations of boys and girls, the structure of the book allows children to view the book not in a sense of gender but rather in a sense of fun, educational and exciting. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 lends to its children readers authorship in that the story allows children to decide whether this book is a boy book or a girl book. Cleary manages to make the story interchangeable. The shape, design, and title name of Ramona Quimby, Age 8 are all characteristics that awaken the senses of children when they are searching for a book that serves their greater interest. In this book Cleary shows how easily it is to manipulate the minds of children through the use of language within the text, and images. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 allows children to make there own decision as to what the gender of the book is. Whether boy or girl, the story is made in a way that takes children on an interesting learning experience as they delve deep within the text. Made possible for both girls and boys Beverly Clearly avoids focusing on a specific gender and welcomes entertainment and a good read for all children.
To begin with, many might argue that Ramona Quimby Age Eight is intended strictly for a girl audience because of the books title. The child will see the name “Ramona” in the title and automatically think the story is about a young girl around their same age. Children do not commonly research or look into a book before they read it. The first thing that they often do is examine the books title for answers about the book and search for ways that they can relate to the book. With the title of this book Cleary wants to be sure that she captures the attention of her girl readers. Another interesting approach that Cleary took in regards to the title is the color choice. It is within the color choices that Cleary begins to show how gender is interchangeable in the book. There are several different versions of the cover for this book and in the majority of the titles the illustrator, Alan Tiegreen, works closely with the vision of Cleary and makes the title purple. The color purple is said to be “the perfect choice for feminine design, and is often used when promoting children products”. (Color Wheel Pro) Clearly knew that the choice in color and the style of the title...

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