I am jumping the gun by a few weeks, but when my favorite children's author is turning 100. I sure did not want to miss the opportunity to shout out Happy Birthday, Ms. Cleary. It is her 100th birthday on April 16th. I love her and the great influence she has had on generations of young readers.
I have posted before how I love Ramona Quimby. Her spirit and enthusiasm is contagious. She was a child of the 50's. I do not see her growing up into a submissive wife. Did she grow up to be a happily married wife? I need to think on that one. Is she a spanked wife? As a child, she began a campaign to get her father to stop smoking in the book titled Ramona and Her Father. An incident occurs and her father states, "First time is funny, and the second time, a spanking. Kids were spanked in Ramona's day, but I am unsure about the mothers of those children.
Beverley Cleary was interviewed on the Today Show. I was amazed at the clarity of her mind and her sense of humor still so sharp. Read about Ms. Cleary here.
There is an author tour of the Portland area to visit the places Ms. Cleary takes my Ramona. I think I need to celebrate her 100th birthday by taking that tour. All the while touring, I will be thinking about Beezus, Picky-Picky, Henry Huggins, Willa Jean, Howie, Ribsy, Davey and the engagement ring, Susan and her boing-boing curls, Klickitat Street, the bridge dividing states Washington and Oregon, Ms. Binney, the red ribbon and the scruffy toy bunny, the brick factory game, the wake-up fairy, kindergarten drop-out, the dawnser song, and the list goes on and on.
There is a park in Portland near the imaginary home of Ramona. There is a bronze statue of this sweet, energetic girl and I have requested that we visit soon. Jack agrees.
I have a tradition of writing my favorite authors. Many authors have written me in return including Ms. Cleary. Her handwritten letter is one of my treasures. I will be sending her a birthday card this year in care of her publisher. Please join me in doing that. I do not think she will be reading my blog!