Even though I have a kindle and rarely buy paper books anymore, I still love perusing the piles of books at Costco. It gives me ideas of what to download on my kindle, and I can always pick up great gifts there too. I also love seeing what children's books they have, and last week, I hit the jackpot! I found "The World of Beverly Cleary", a collection of 15 books, for only $25!!!
I was an avid reader growing up, and Beverly Cleary's books were some of my favorites. C reads well on his own, and O has just started reading, so I thought now might be a great time to pick up these books. I had a vision of sitting down with the boys and slowly working our way through this collection of books a chapter a night. But, there was a small wrench in the works... They're boys! Would they be as taken with Ramona and Beezus as I had been as a young girl? I think I would have put the collection back if it had only contained the Ramona series, but luckily it also included 3 Henry Huggins books and 3 Ralph the Mouse books, and I figured the boys might at least like those. And what a steal! How could I pass up that price?!
Turns out it would have been a huge mistake to put back the Ramona books. When we came home, the boys were eager to start reading. Hooray! The big propaganda speech that I gave them on the drive home (about how these were some of my favorite books when I was a kid and I was so excited to finally get to share them with my boys) clearly paid off. I had planned to start with "Henry Huggins" but "Beezus and Ramona" was the first book in the box, so C wanted to start with that one. So I took a deep breath and dove in.
And they loved it! After the first chapter was finished, they begged for another, and then another, and I ended up reading until my voice was hoarse. Both boys were taken with Ramona and how naughty she could be. They also seemed to really understand how Beezus was torn between loving her sister and finding her just so annoying, because I am sure they feel the same way about each other at times. I was amazed how quickly the stories came back to me as I was reading. I began to remember exactly what would happen as we continued on, eagerly anticipating how Ramona would eat just one bite out of all the apples and how she would bake her doll in Beezus's birthday cake. We finished "Beezus and Ramona" in two nights and immediately the boys began begging for "Ramona the Pest." While they enjoy reading, usually they are begging for TV and videogames, so begging to read a book in the afternoon was quite a nice surprise.
It's been great to rediscover these stories with them, and amazing that they are still so relatable 50 years after they were written. Hours of reading, snuggles, and a whole new generation discovering Ramona. Not bad for $25!