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The Order of Oddfish


90-Second Newbery, Ramona Edition: Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8

January 14, 2013

It’s coming! The Chicago screening of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, co-hosted by me and Blue Balliett (Chasing Vermeer). The time: Sunday, February 10, from 2-3:30 pm. The place: the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago. It’s free, but you have to reserve your seat ahead of time. You can reserve your place here. Do it now, this thing is selling out!

Today we’re going to feature the two Newbery-winning Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. The first one is above, of 1978 Honor Book Ramona and Her Father, adapted by Nadia Duncan in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m so glad Nadia chose to do this book, because it’s one of my favorite Newbery honorees. It’s funny, it’s real, and yet . . . mysteriously, nobody has made a 90-Second Newbery of it! Until now!

And I must say, this is one of the most professional-looking 90-Second Newberys I’ve received. The script was tight, the acting was convincing, and not only that, it was clearly shot by someone who knows their way around some cinematography. And the editing and music cues are spot-on! Terrific job!

But that’s not the only Ramona 90-Second Newbery we have tonight. Not to be outdone, here’s 1982 Honor Book Ramona Quimby, Age 8, adapted by Xela Shawn, Riley Water, and friends:

I particularly liked the nice use of pigtails to make the girl playing Ramona look even younger. The raw-egg on the head scene—which is essential to get right if you’re filming this book—was done perfectly, with complete commitment and marvelously extended mocking laughter! I also thought the music cues were good, especially when Ramona is running away and going to the principal. Nice ambitious green screen work, too! Firing on all cylinders!

This movie is from Portland, OR, and of course we’re going to have a 90-Second Newbery Film Festival screening in Portland on February 24. See you there, Xela and Riley!