April 12, 2006

It's Beverly Cleary's birthday -- drop everything and read, dears!

Beverly Cleary turns 90 today, and many happy returns from Farm School on this very special occasion; I've long considered Mrs. Cleary an old friend, since about the time that Ramona Quimby and I were the same age. In honor of this red letter day, by the way, HarperCollins and a few other organizations, including (grumble, grumble) the NEA, are celebrating Drop Everything and Read Day. The resource page has some good ideas.

To celebrate the day, read to your kids, perhaps some of Beverly Cleary's best, and later on, on your own time, you can't do better than her memoir, A Girl from Yamhill:
Suddenly I was reading and enjoying what I read! I was happy in a way I had not been happy since starting school. I read all afternoon until I had finished the book. Then I began The Swiss Twins. For once Mother postponed bedtime, until I finished the book.

Shortly after my discovery that grown-ups spoke the truth when they said reading was a pleasure...
Well, you'll have to read the book to discover the rest.

And check out A Fuse #8 Production for the link to the recent NPR interview with Mrs. Cleary and a beautiful photograph of her at nearly 90.

UPDATE: Jen at her Book Page has a DEAR Beverly birthday post today, too, with some new and different links. Read Roger has a post on DEAR, too, with a bit of a different take, and I can't say I disagree with him or with Ramona.

No comments: