Beverly Cleary turns 100 on April 12. And, what a fun bunch of books she has written. Our world wouldn't be the same without Ramona Quimby or Henry Huggins. And, how about Socks or Ribsy or Ralph, the motorcycle riding mouse, or any of the other fun characters she created through fiction. I grew up reading the Cleary books and have several in our collection. My kids have read them as well (or will when they get a bit better readers). They are classic tales that repeat reading over and over. And, kids can relate to the characters she has written about. They do things and experience feelings that are true to what kids feel and experience. I love them.
The Washington Post recently published an article about her and her upcoming birthday. She said she remembered her mother reading aloud to her, and she struggled to learn to read nearly failing first grade. She wasn't even reading on her own till 3rd. I, as a mother of children who struggled to read, find that encouraging. She went on to college, got married, had kids, became a librarian, all while writing. She grew up in a different era where mothers stayed home and kids played freely, very different from what children do today, which is reflected in her stories. If you have a moment, click on the link and read the article. And, if you want to know more, Wikipedia is always there to lend you information (we love wikipedia).
On April 12, everyone is encouraged to D.E.A.R., drop everything and read. No matter what might be going on, forget about it and read a good book. This is in honor of Beverly Cleary who first introduced D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Don't remember it? Get a copy of the book and find out. We will be doing just that on April 12. Sarah Mackenzie from Amongst Lovely Things is hosting a D.E.A.R. celebration. At 3 PM EST (change that to whatever time zone you need), she in encouraging you to drop all you are doing and read to your children and post to social media with a picture. She has put together a packet of fun things which you can find if you click here. It promises to be a fun celebration. If you want to know more about D.E.A.R. itself, click here.
There are lots of fun ideas in the free packet from Amongst Lovely Things which we will do. In addition, I purposely went to 2 libraries to get a stack of her books for my kids to enjoy this month. Plus, we checked out Ramona and Beezus, a movie done about Ramona and her sister, played by Selena Gomez and Joel King. We have never seen it before so it will be a fun conclusion to our Beverly Cleary month!
So, happy birthday, Beverly Cleary. You really don't look a day over 80! May you have many more lovely birthdays! And, thank you for Ramona, Ellen, Henry, Maggie, Ribsy, Socks, Beezus, Ralph and all the other lovely characters you created! And, enjoy your piece of carrot cake!