Friday, November 18, 2011
As a child, I loved the Ramona books and loved the show on PBS. (After all I did name my daughter Beatrice. I told Cory its in honor of his grandmother but we all know its a shout out to Ramona's Aunt Beatrice and sister, Beezus. Beverly Cleary knew what was up, unlike today's authors.) I remember early Saturday mornings glued to our little TV (manual dial changer, bunny ears, and no remote! the horror!) Earlier this year my niece gave Beatrice all of her old books. You can imagine my joy when I spotted a couple of Ramona books in the pile. Last month Beatrice pulled this gem from the bottom of the box and we began our journey through Ramona Forever. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to read a book that isn't about princesses or pinkness. Ramona is one feisty little bitch.
When we started the book, I wondered if Beatrice was ready for it. She was so eager to dive in so I figured we'd give it a shot. If you come over, she'll brag to you "me and mama read chapter books!"
After every couple of pages, I'll ask her about the characters, the plot, what she think will happen next, etc. Some nights she recounts all of the details like Encyclopedia Brown (another childhood favorite- did you ever watch that film strip?) and other nights she can't piece together the story to save her life. It all depends on how tired she is and how distracted she is playing with my hair (we're in a hairdo phase.)
We are 3/4 through this book and last night we hit upon one of the major climaxes in the plot. (Spoiler alert!) Mrs. Quimby, who has been pregnant since Chapter 2 finally goes into labor. (We're going to find out if the baby is a boy or girl and what his/her name will be!) Beezus and Ramona wait by the phone to get the call from the hospital (they are left home while the parents go to the hospital.-- so 80's. Another reason this book is awesomely 80s is because rich Uncle Hobart has made his fortune working the oil rigs in Saudi Arabia.)
I'm going along, reading with enthusiasm and suspense when (my) Beatrice declares "Mama, I'm ready for bed. We can finish this tomorrow." She was so blase about the whole thing. I put the book down, rushed through the whole tuck in/hugs/kisses/water routine and came back to finish the book. Don't worry, I won't ruin it for you. But damn, that shit was a page-turner.