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Ramona and Beezus Rated G

After months of begging and pleading, your daughter is now the proud owner of a brand new puppy. She’s madly in love with the little fur ball — until he shreds her new sweater. And gobbles up her pancakes. And has an accident on her bedroom rug. She quickly realizes that being a pet owner isn’t as easy as she thought.

Once her puppy is in obedience school, his rambunctiousness is curtailed. Your daughter learns how to train him to behave. Before long, he’s back to being the darling little pup she always wanted — at least most of the time.

With some hard work, she learns that loving someone (or something) means accepting his annoying traits along with the endearing ones. That’s the conclusion that the Quimby family comes to, as well, in “Ramona and Beezus,” now available on DVD. Enjoy this entertaining film with your family and then discuss it with our Talk Together points. Later, you can get “Stuck On You” in our Play Together activity.

“Ramona and Beezus,” based on the best-selling children’s book series by Beverly Cleary, focuses on two sisters and their close-knit family. The Quimbys find their household turned upside-down when Dad loses his job. Mom must return to the workplace, leaving Dad in charge of 15-year-old Beezus (Ramona’s nickname for Beatrice), 8-year-old Ramona and baby Roberta. Ramona overhears her parents discussing their money woes and decides to help out.

Ramona asks Beezus to help her enter a competition for a national advertising campaign. The winner becomes the high-paid poster child for a peanut butter ad. But tomboy Ramona has trouble pulling off the “princess” style the company is seeking. She loses the competition, but is consoled by Beezus. Ramona’s other money-making schemes also fail.

Finally, the Quimbys are forced to sell their home. No one is happy about it, but Ramona is the most upset. When the real estate agent shows the house to some prospective buyers, Ramona bursts in the door, runs upstairs — and falls through the ceiling. Distraught, she helps convince her parents to find a way to stay in the family home. Beezus and the rest of the family reaffirm their love for Ramona, despite her irritating antics. After all, that’s what you do when you love someone.

Talk together

Ramona’s imagination is sometimes out of control. Which was your favorite of her wild daydreams? Why does her dad encourage her to dream?

Ramona’s wacky ideas often cause trouble for other people. Why does this happen? How do her family and friends respond? How would you react?

Play together: Stuck on you

You will need:

• Masking tape or duct tape

• Slips of paper

• Pens or pencils

Distribute 10 slips of paper to each player. Have each person write five positive traits (such as funny, creative or athletic) and five negative traits (such as messy, picky eater or always late) that describe the person on his or her left. Mix up the slips and spread them facedown on the floor. (Make sure it’s a clear, open space.) To play, one person is “It.” Wrap several strips of masking tape, sticky side out, around “Its” chest. “It” then has five seconds to roll across the floor, collecting as many slips of paper as will stick to the tape. No hands allowed! At the end of five seconds, another player removes each slip one by one. If the group agrees that the trait describes “It” accurately, “It” gets five points. If a trait does not apply, deduct two points from “Its” score. Reuse the slips and let each player take a turn as “It.” The player with the most points wins. And everyone learns the importance of loving each other, no matter what!Schedule a family movie night during the holidays! Check out our archives at www.Cinematters.com and get some great ideas for fun with your favorite films.© 2010, Cinematters

Updated 11:55 am, December 12, 2016
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