Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

School Library Journal has an interview with Beverly Cleary on her 94th birthday! I've been a huge fan of Beverly Cleary since I was very young. Her wonderful, character-driven stories about Henry Huggins, Beezus and Ramona, Ellen Tebbits, and that bad boy, Otis Spofford, made a lasting impression on me. I clearly remember seeing Otis Spofford up on the reserve shelf in the bookmobile that came to my school each month, and longing desperately to read it--but it was being held for someone else. Eventually, of course, I got my hands on it! Ms. Cleary says she started out as an elementary school librarian. A little boy changed her life when he came into the library and asked, "Where are the books about kids like us?" There really weren't any, so Ms. Cleary took it upon herself to write them--and we're so lucky she did! All of her amazing books are still in print. The birthday card above was made for Beverly Cleary by Caldecott Award-winning Paul Zelinsky--it features Ralph S. Mouse.

The photo above is by Kate Wade.


Rena Jones said...

Oh, I love her stories. I was a huge fan of Ramona when I was a kid. In fact, I just read one of those books again last year. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link to my recent interview with Beverly Cleary that appeared on the School Library Journal website. There isn't any way to contact you via this blog. Please contact me offline.


Marcia said...

It's so neat to see this tribute. I enjoyed all her books, for both mid-graders and teens. I have to say I couldn't stand Ramona, though. In a "I still liked the books" way, of course. :)You see, big-sister Beezus was the "kid like me."

Anonymous said...

I loved her books and when I taught school, even after she stopped writing and the books were "old", I handed them to children or put them on my required reading list. All it took was one and they would read them all. Thanks for posting the link!

Ruth Donnelly said...

It's great to know so many of us loved (and continue to love) Beverly Cleary!

Rena, me too--they definitely stand the test of time.

Marcia, I was more like Beezus too, but I secretly admired Ramona's nerve!

Catherine, I still make my students read them. I have a group that will be starting Henry Huggins next week--I can't wait!

Rocco, thanks for your excellent article in SLJ. I've added a "contact" page to my blog--thank you for pointing that out.