As part of the nightly homework in kindergarten, we are required to read together. This is not a big deal because my daughters love books. We started out letting each of them pick a book and reading to them one on one. For their birthday I gave them the complete set of Ramona books, so we have been working our way through those. (We actually read Beezus and Ramona about a year ago).
You can tell the books were not written recently. The language is a little more proper than what we use today and every now and then my girls have to ask "what does that mean?" In one of the books I had censor what I was reading because Ramona was intent on proving that her dad was the Tooth Fairy. Not all of my girls have lost their first tooth so I'm not ready to spoil the magic.
We are currently reading Ramona and Her Father. I really struggled with last night's chapter. This book mentions quite often that Ramona's father smokes. After dinner he'll ask Ramona to get him an ashtray. Last night's chapter focused on his smoking and kept describing the smoke rings that he would blow. Ramona and Beezus spent the chapter trying to convince their dad to quit his habit. Let's face it, if this book were written today I'm pretty sure all references to Mr. Quimby's smoking would have been removed. It certainly never came up in the movie based on the books.
Hubby and I don't smoke. No one in our family smokes, although he and I grew up around grandparents who smoked... a lot. I'm sure my daughters have seen people smoking when we're out and about, but it's never been an issue. I ended up using last night's chapter as a stepping stone to a bigger conversation: why you shouldn't smoke. It was a little bit much for them to comprehend, but I just couldn't read that chapter without making a point. I knew someday I would have to start addressing these issues, I was just a bit surprised that Ramona Q. initiated the conversation.
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