Celebrate Reading with Beezus and Ramona

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I shared a little bit of my woes with reading and why I've resorted to audiobooks for my commute, so it's been a little difficult over the past month to encourage an 8-year-old (who would rather do anything else) to read. To prepare for 3rd grade, [K] was assigned to read two books of her choice over summer break. The first one was a struggle to get through, but we found a winner with our second book, Beezus and Ramona. The sisters are very similar in age and stage of life as [K] and her own sister, so it was very relatable & quite funny.  

Sometimes you have to pull out all the stops to make a kid want to read (I mean, she has hundreds of apps...books are not on the priority list, people). To help encourage some excitement, we planned a celebration day for when the book was finished. 

Bunny Ears and An Apple Bite

"On her head Ramona wore a circle of cardboard with two long paper ears attached. 
The insides of the ears were colored with pink crayon, Ramona's work at nursery school. 'I'm the Easter bunny,' announced Ramona."

I cut out two bunny ears from construction paper and let [K] decorate them with markers. The only stipulation was, she had to decorate them not as her 8-year-old self, but as she thought 4-year-old Ramona would decorate them. This resulted in plenty of scribble-fun. 

"Ramona was sitting on the floor beside a box of apples. Lying around her on the cement floor were a number of apples - each with one bite out of it."

We happened to have a red apple in the house during our celebration. We had to take one bite of it and pose for a few pictures...as Ramona may have done. 

A Quimby-Party Menu

"'Beezus, I think applesauce would be good for dessert tonight. Will you run down and bring up some apples?'"

1. Applesauce. The solution to the one-bite-apple problem, in the book, had to be a part of our celebration snacks!

"Ramona, her face shining with happiness, looked at her friends....'Those cookies are filled with worms. Chopped-up worms!' she gleefully told everyone. 'Why, Ramona!' Beezus was shocked. 'They aren't either. They're filled with ground-up figs. You know that.' Ramona did not answer. Her mouth was full of fig Newtons."

2. Fig Newtons. (we used blueberry-flavored because I'm not a fan of figs, myself) We probably called them "chopped-up worms" more than we did their actual name, but they were enjoyed, all the same. 

3. Popcorn. The Quiby's didn't partake in an popcorn that I know of, but it sure adds the perfect element to any book/movie celebration day. 

The last part of our big celebration was eating our snacks while watching the movie, Ramona and Beezus. I know some of you don't want to "ruin" your child's books with movies, but [K] did what was asked of her - read the book. So, rewarding with the movie is alright by me (plus, we chatted about the differences, what's missing, etc). 

Just a couple ingredients and a few activities made this book celebration an easy success. I hope [K] will always remember most elements of the book, just by thinking of our celebration day and all the fun we had. 

I know we have a Beverly Cleary Ramona fan for quite some time after this first book.
That's a good thing, since [K] has 7 more books she can read in The Complete Ramona Collection*

How do you make reading fun for your kiddos?