Like many of you, I was shocked yesterday when a message popped up on my phone that Beverly Cleary had died. I shouldn't have been surprised. She was 104 years old after all, and about to turn 105 next month. I knew that I had at least a couple of posts that referenced Beverly Cleary. I'll use those posts to bookend my remembrance of this beloved children's author.
Serendipity at the Mall (July 30, 2012) captures a slice of a father reading a Beverly Cleary book to his children. You'll have to click on the post to discover the title of the book. Want to guess before you look?
Ramona's World was purchased in September 1999 (I sometimes put the date purchased in the front cover underneath my name) and is the only Beverly Cleary book I currently own. I bought it in hardcover, read it, and may have read it to my 3rd grade class that year. I can't remember. (As my dad would say, I've slept a few nights since then.) It's the last published book in the Ramona series begun in 1955 (the year of my birth).
Tucked in the back cover of the book is a NYT Book Review article "Ramona Forever" by Pamela Paul from Sunday, April 10, 2011 (just before Cleary's 95th birthday). You can imagine that I might have a special connection to the Ramona books, although I missed prime time for them since I was already in my teens when the other Ramona books were published.
On my shelf of saved DVDs is Ramona and Beezus, which a friend gave me several years. ago. The film was released in the summer of 2010 and the video became available in December 2010. The title comes from Beezus and Ramona (1955), the first of Cleary's Ramona books. The plot for the movie comes mostly from the sequels, Ramona Forever (1984) and Ramona's World (1999). I look forward to watching it with the grandchildren.
Ramona the Brave (1975) is a treasured book on my bookshelf, but it's not the actual book. It's a compilation of sentiments from my colleagues glued over the pages of the discarded library book. It was given to me when I retired (2014). Here's the inside front cover that includes the pocket where due dates were stamped and the catalog card (remember those?)for the book .
This final bookend for this post, Beverly Cleary's 100th Birthday, was my slice of life on April 12, 2016. It's a list . . . wait for it . . . drum roll and confetti . . . a compilation of my 100 favorite middle grade books to honor this very special author on her 100th birthday.
(If you haven't reached your fill of Beverly Cleary yet, check out this CNN opinion piece by Allison Hope, "Beverly Cleary's Ramona is a force for all us beautiful pests" including a 3 minute video clip).