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Ribsy by Beverly Cleary



Main Topic or Theme

The close bond between a pet and its owner, as well as the importance of friendship, tenacity, and persistence, are the book’s main themes.

Key Ideas or Arguments

The key ideas presented in the book revolve around Ribsy’s determination to find his way back home and the various people and animals he encounters during his journey.

Chapter Titles and Main Sections

  1. Lost: Ribsy gets lost after accidentally jumping into the wrong car at a shopping center.
  2. The Wrong Family: Ribsy is taken in by a family who mistakes him for their lost dog, but quickly realizes he is not their pet.
  3. The Poodle Parlor: Ribsy is taken to a poodle parlor by the family’s daughter, where he manages to escape.
  4. The Gray Fox: Ribsy becomes friends with a stray dog, who teaches him survival skills and helps him navigate the city.
  5. The Dogcatcher: Ribsy gets caught by a dogcatcher but is eventually released thanks to the help of a compassionate police officer.
  6. The Football Game: Ribsy unintentionally disrupts a high school football game, garnering attention from the local news.
  7. Home at Last: Ribsy is finally reunited with Henry after seeing him on television.

Key Takeaways or Conclusions

The key takeaways from “Ribsy” are the importance of perseverance and determination, as well as the strong bond between pets and their owners.

Author’s Background and Qualifications

Beverly Cleary is a renowned American author who has written numerous children’s books, including the popular Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins series. She is known for her engaging storytelling and relatable characters, which have made her books a favorite among young readers.

Comparative Analysis with Similar Books

“Ribsy” can be compared to other children’s books that focus on the adventures of a dog, such as “Old Yeller” by Fred Gipson or “Lassie Come-Home” by Eric Knight. However, “Ribsy” is unique in its focus on the dog’s perspective and the strong bond between Ribsy and his owner, Henry.

Target Audience or Intended Readership

Children between the ages of 8 and 12 are the main demographic for “Ribsy,” as well as anyone who appreciates touching tales about animals and their human companions.

Reception or Critical Response

Both critics and readers have praised “Ribsy” for its compelling storytelling, likable characters, and sentimental themes.

Publisher and First Published Date

“Ribsy” was first published in 1964 by HarperCollins Publishers.


Other similar books on the same topic include:

  • “Old Yeller” by Fred Gipson
  • “Lassie Come-Home” by Eric Knight
  • “Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo
  • “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls

Biggest Takeaway

The biggest takeaway from “Ribsy” is the importance of determination and the strong bond between a pet and its owner, as demonstrated by Ribsy’s unwavering resolve to find his way back home to Henry.


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