The inspiration of Beverly Cleary…

It saddens me to write this note. I believe my love of reading began with…Ramona Quimby age 8…I was eight years old and the librarian suggested I read this. She thought I would like it. At first I was skeptical like normal eight year olds I think… I read this book cover to cover…I checked it out and read it a few more times…then I read all of her other books. I liked it so much I gave it to my sister to read when she turned eight!

This picture above was the exact cover I saw at age eight. What a wonderful story. One where kids like me, we’re doing stuff like me. It was the first time I had ever experienced a book like that. It was funny, entertaining and in my case realistic.

Oh man did I ever learn this…I have since the age of eight been an avid reader of all kinds of books. Yes some where required for school, I never saw them that way…to me they were an adventure, a way to travel the world, enter fairy realms… any place my imagination could take me I could go!!! Also in class reading time was my favorite part of the day! Yes…I was that kid!

I heard a saying once… a knowledgeable women is a scary one. I have learned this lesson many times over the years. The facts, figures, trivia I have in my brain has made itself known many times…with…or without permission…I got into lots of trouble with teachers…because the figure or fact they quoted was incorrect…or a word was misspelled…it is not a child’s place to point that out I was told…then I learned the art of sarcasm…also got in trouble a lot…I always had good intentions just like Ramona did!

What a fantastic illustration… I remember seeing these an thinking that is exactly how I thought her face would look. How many times had I had a day go very wrong. It was so wonderful to relate to a girl in a book. It was a amazing realization that stories could be written for kids like me.

I love this illustration so much…My sister had a haircut like this thanks to me…I was trying to help…good intentions gone wrong…I cut her bangs way to short…

My sister has always called me Beezus…I admit it…now it seems very profound that this story effected our lives so completely. I will always back my sisters up no matter how crazy the request…My mother actually got to meet her, she lived in the neighborhood Cleary described…she encouraged my mom too write. Which my mom in turn encouraged me. A full circle. A full life.

Well Mrs. Beverly Cleary… I have… you taught me to love reading. See children like myself in books! You gave me hope when I didn’t have any. Joy when I could have had sorrow. Laughter and so many fun hours. In trees. On bikes. At the park. I will be forever grateful for your words…and your stories. Thank you so much.

That’s all I have tonight friends. Writing and life are a work in progress…(just like me.)😉

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