(I wonder if Johnny Depp got his Winona Forever tattoo because of it sounding like Ramona Forever? LOL, just kidding. And now it's "Wino Forever.")
One of Jane's birthday gifts was the complete set of Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. We've listened to the entire series on audio from the library (oh, how we love Overdrive!). Stockard Channing is the narrator and she is AMAZING. I would listen to anything she read, but sadly this is the only audiobook I could find that she has ever narrated. She doesn't even have a celebrity memoir! C'mon, Stockard, get on that! I tell everyone about the audio when it comes up -- it is really that good.
We have also worked our way through reading the series via the library. We've found there are different illustrators for different versions of the books. They were written over a span of 40 years or so (1950s until 1990s), but they keep being re-released with new illustrations. Jane likes the most recent illustrations best, probably because those are the main ones we've been reading. The set she got for her birthday has different/probably older illustrations, so when she re-reads them she'll get to see new-to-her pictures! (Livia is also "reading" them, which is pretty funny. She calls them "Mona" books.)
As a treat we checked out the Ramona & Beezus movie that came out a few years ago - we checked it out at the library. It was full of somewhat famous people, but it wasn't a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. They tried to cram in too many of the stories from the book into the movie, and do it within a month or so of Ramona's life onscreen. It was still fun to see some of our favorite stories acted out, and I think Jane liked it more than I did. Was a little disappointing.
Wikipedia for the win, it was Sarah Polley! It looks like you can buy the series for $30 on an unknown-to-me website.
Jane and I are almost finished with Ramona's World, the final book in the series that came out in 1999 (!). We read a chapter or two each night before bed. After that we have plenty else to read, but Ramona will always, always, always have a special place in my heart. And I guess I'll get to read through them at least once more with my baby girl Livia!
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