Dear Beverly Cleary,
I want to thank you for the contributions you made to my life and for the way you impacted children of my generation.
I don’t remember the first time I read the Ramona books myself, but I do remember the first time I read Ramona the Brave to my oldest child. A weighed less than two pounds at the time — and although I couldn’t hold her or feed her — I could read to her.
At the beginning of our long NICU stay, one of the nurses told me that I should talk to my baby as much as possible, so I brought in a giant stack of picture books. When I read through all those a handful of times, I realized we were going to need something stronger.
And who is stronger than Ramona the Brave?
That tiny girl is growing up now — almost a teenager! — and an author herself. She has stories flowing through her veins.
She’s inspired by you, Mrs. Cleary. And all the amazing female authors who came after you: Judy Blume, Kate DiCamillo, and Sharon Creech (to name just a few).
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined my own kids loving Ramona like I did when I was a child. The hole in the house and Howie Kemp and Susan’s owl have become part of our everyday conversation — as though they happened to us, and not a character in a book you wrote four decades ago.
And while we were not surprised to learn of your passing, we are heartbroken just the same. The world is a better place because of you.
Thank you for everything,
(Enjoy a sneak peek at Klickitat Street in this archived video of Beverly Cleary.)
Celebrate Beverly Cleary on DEAR Day!
If you’d like to join us in celebrating Beverly Cleary’s long, impactful life, mark your calendars for her birthday, April 12th, also known as DEAR Day.
As a child, DEAR (drop everything and read) was my favorite part of the school day. When I grew up and became a teacher, I made sure to include it in our daily schedule. And now, as a homeschooling mom, you can be sure that we commemorate DEAR Day every year.
This year, we’ll celebrate with
a hole in the house (JUST KIDDING!) a full morning of reading in our PJs. I may offer one of these official DEAR Day activities to our kids, but we’ll definitely keep the written work optional.
DEAR Day Resources
(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)
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