Literature / Emily's Runaway Imagination

Emily's Runaway Imagination is a book by Beverly Cleary about a young girl growing up on a farm. As the title suggests, she has a crazy imagination. The main plot revolves around her wishing for a library in the little town of Pitchfork, Oregon followed by the approval and setting up of said library. In between fundraising tea parties and collecting book donations, Emily manages to get herself into quite a few interesting predicaments.

This work contains examples of:

  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Fong Quock, which leads to embarrassment for Emily in the first chapter.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Plince, for Emily's dog Prince. Fong (see Asian Speekee Engrish above) can't pronounce the R in the dog's name, and then everyone else in town, including her parents, start calling him Plince.
  • G-Rated Drug: Emily feeding the hogs rotten apples, which have fermented and become alcoholic.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Emily hears that you can make your pie pastry lighter by adding a pinch of baking powder. So she adds a pinch, and then another couple of pinches just to be careful, and her pie crust floats to the top of the pie when she cooks it. The pie turns out delicious, though, and Emily tells the crowd at the potluck dinner that she's invented "upside down pie".
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Emily's mother and father.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pete Ginty, who has no qualms about teasing the hell out of little girls, but also holds a heavy pail of bleach over his head for Emily to clean her white horse's tail.
  • Miss Imagination: Emily.
  • Never Live It Down: In-universe, Emily bemoans this as the consequence of living in such a close-knit farm town.
  • Odd Couple: A mild case with Emily and her cousin June. June's usually very calm and rational and likes to do just about everything the exact opposite way Emily does.