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Henry and Ribsy

Review

Henry and Ribsy

Henry Huggins doesn’t think Ribsy is such a bad dog. Sure, he’s a little high-spirited and mischievous, but he doesn’t get into real trouble. That’s not what Henry’s parents think, though, especially when Ribsy tears up Mrs. Green’s lawn and chases another neighbor’s cat. Henry will always defend Ribsy; even when the dog steals a sandwich out of a police officer’s car, Henry says “he’s still a pretty good dog.” Mr. Huggins isn’t so sure, though, so he offers Henry a reward. If Henry can keep Ribsy out of trouble for the next two months, Mr. Huggins will take Henry along on a salmon fishing trip.

The promise of a great trip with his dad is a good incentive for Henry. If only Ribsy were similarly motivated! It’s hard for Henry to keep his energetic dog under control, especially when there are so many tempting targets for Ribsy’s unwanted attention --- from the garbage man to Ramona, the annoying little kid who constantly pulls Ribsy’s tail. And everyone always assumes the worst about Ribsy, even when he gets in circumstances that obviously aren’t the poor dog’s fault.

But Ribsy also helps out Henry, providing him with an unusual --- and unusually speedy --- method for pulling out loose teeth. And, if he can just hold it together, he might provide Henry with the reward he’s been waiting for, even if the promised fishing trip isn’t all it was cracked up to be. But maybe Ribsy can assist Henry even when it comes to fishing and show everyone that he’s a good dog after all.

HENRY AND RIBSY is the kind of humorous “boy and his dog” story that is bound to appeal to kids in all times and places. Beverly Cleary excels at portraying a boy who is trying desperately to live up to a new level of responsibility, even though life keeps putting (often funny) obstacles in his way. Recently updated to include new illustrations by Tracy Dockray, HENRY AND RIBSY now looks fresher and more contemporary, even though its story was always timeless.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on March 1, 1990

Henry and Ribsy
(The World of Beverly Cleary #3)
by Beverly Cleary

  • Publication Date: March 1, 1990
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0380709171
  • ISBN-13: 9780380709175