When I was growing up, one of my favorite book series was the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. I bought WCK a collection of Ramona books for her fifth birthday, hoping that she'd enjoy them as much as I had. Also, I wanted to show her that there are much better alternatives to (gag) those awful Junie B. Jones books.
My plan worked. WCK loved Ramona, and we spent the entire summer reading all eight books in the series. I looked forward to reading every night, so I could re-live the Ramona adventures I'd long forgotten about. Remember when she gets mad at her family and gets revenge by squeezing an entire tube of toothpaste into the sink? Or when she tries to be funny by cracking open a hard-boiled egg on her head ... only to realize her mom packed a raw egg in her lunch by mistake? Or when she wore her pajamas to school under her clothes? Or when Picky-Picky died? I could go on and on.
I'd never read the last book in the series, Ramona's World, because it was published in 1999, so it was fun to discover a new Ramona book together. We went to the Ramona and Beezus movie, which was actually pretty good, and not just because Aidan from Sex and the City played the dad. Although that did help.
Our Ramona reading prompted Jay to run out to the library and get the Henry Huggins books. Every night, I'd read a chapter of Ramona, and then Jay would read a chapter of Henry. Ramona makes cameo appearances in the Henry Huggins books, too.
When we got to the last chapter of Ramona's World, WCK and I actually felt a little sad. We talked about how much we'd miss Ramona, but I told her that pretty soon, she'll be reading by herself and she can read all of the Ramona books over and over again.
Our next book series? Little House! Aw, yeah! Take that, Junie B. Jones!