Barbara's Random Thoughts

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Happy 90th to Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary turns 90 today. Cleary was one of my absolute favorite authors when I was a kid. I didn't discover many of Cleary's other books until I was older (Dear Mr. Henshaw, Socks, and I still need to read Fifteen and Sister of the Bride!), but I LOVED Ramona.

I have so many fond memories of the Ramona books:
Oh, and there are so many more!! I also remember TOTALLY relating to Ramona's feelings as the left-out younger sibling (as much as I don't fit into the youngest child mold, I remember those feelings quite well!!).

And just because I feel compelled to mention it: these illustrations are the ones I grew up with and any other depiction of Ramona just doesn't look like Ramona to me.

I came across this Cleary quote in an article about her birthday: "If we finished our work, the teacher would say, 'Now don't read ahead.' But sometimes I hid the book I was reading behind my geography book and did read ahead." I love that. When teachers said to not read ahead, I didn't listen either.

Actually, I only remember being told that by one teacher: Mrs. Frankland, in my first year at St. Mary's (equivalent of American 2nd grade). After being told specifically to only read the assigned story and not read ahead, my entire table promptly went home and read the whole reader. The next morning we were all excitedly discussing a story from the end of the book. But by the time it was actually assigned reading, we were all SO OVER Juliane in the Jungle. In second year, we had a much more sympathetic teacher who let us read at our own pace. My best friend Frances and I burned through the blue and the purple readers and were then allowed to pick books to read from a designated shelf. I loved that.

Anyway, in honor of Ramona and of Beverly Cleary's 90th birthday, please Drop Everything And Read today. Or at least do some Sustained Silent Reading.


| posted by Barbara | 8:13 PM