Children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school. —Beverly Cleary
We want to give a quick shout out to Beverly Cleary. Today she’s 100 years old! While we agree with Ramona that exaggerating feels good, that century mark is accurate. Cleary was born when Woodrow Wilson was president, in a year when Norman Rockwell first blessed the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. It was the same year The Boy Scouts of America was born. We think it’s just as important to read about Ramona, Henry Huggins, and Ralph the Mouse as it is to Be Prepared.
In the 1940’s, Cleary worked in a children’s bookstore. She read this line in a children’s book: “Bow-wow. I like the green grass.” Since she’d never known a dog who could talk like that, she couldn’t help but ask, “ What is the matter with authors?” Forty-two books and countless honors and awards later, Cleary can feel good about writing pages that “entertain children and give them courage and insight into what to expect from their lives.” Well done Beverly. Bravo!
If you haven’t read Beverly Cleary yet, I would start with The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Rachel loves Ralph but the second grader in her remains loyal to Ramona, so she recommends Beezus and Ramona as well.