When my oldest was in kindergarten and first grade, I read all of the Ramona and Henry Huggins titles to him. My middle guy got squeezed out of that tradition when he was at that stage. Surprise, surprise. But, happily, I am back on track reading the Ramona books to my kindergarten daughter and second-grade son (better late than never). Big brother has found reason to be in close proximity for most of these read-alouds as well.
Is there a character more lovable than Ramona? Her energy, her zest for life, her creativity, her spirit, her honesty. I'm going to dedicate a long and more thoughtful post (or series of) to Ramona once the kids and I finish all the books. For now, I'll just share two moments from a chapter of Ramona the Pest.
Ramona proudly shows and tells.
Miss Binney smiled encouragingly. "Is there something you would like to tell us about your doll?"
"I can really wash her hair," said Ramona. "It's sort of green because I gave her a blue rinse."
"And what do you wash it with?" asked Miss Binney.
"Lots of things," said Ramona, beginning to enjoy speaking in front of the class. "Soap, shampoo, detergent, bubble bath. I tried Dutch Cleanser once, but it didn't work."
"What is your doll's name?" asked Miss Binney.
"Chevrolet," answered Ramona. "I named her after my aunt's car."
"Is there something you would like to tell us about your bunny?" asked Miss Binney.
"No," said Howie. "I just brought it because my mother made me."
"I can tell you something about your bunny," said Miss Binney. "It has had lots of love. That's why it's so worn."
Ramona was fascinated. In her imagination she could see the cat lying on the carpet with the rabbit gripped in his teeth while he battered it with his hind feet. The look that Howie gave the rabbit was somehow lacking in love. Ramona waited for him to say that it wasn't his rabbit, but he did not. He just stood there.
I could barely read that final paragraph aloud for laughing.
Here's to more cozy evenings with my old friend Ramona and three of her twenty-first century fans.