P.S.-Pooh Says...

"What day is it? - 'It's today' - squeaked Piglet. 'My favourite day' - said Pooh."- A.A. Milne

12 April 2016

Just D.E.A.R- Drop Everything and READ!. Happy 100th Birthday Beverly Cleary


 As a child, I very much objected to books that tried to teach me something ... I just wanted to read for pleasure, and I did. But if a book tried to teach me, I returned it to the library.” Beverly Cleary

Happy D.E.A.R. Day! "Drop Everything and READ" Day happens every April 12, in fact the entire month of April is D.E.A.R. month reminding all of us, big readers and newbies, that we must make time for books.

D.E.A.R. programs are held nationally  in celebration of not only reading and the love of books, but also the birthday of the author who can take responsibility for making so many of us readers, and who in one of her beloved books, "Ramona Quimby, Age 8", wrote about "Drop Everything and Read", Beverly Clearly.  This April 12th is Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday.  

 Louis Darling Illustration from Beezus and Ramona

The beloved author has sold over 85 million copies of her books, books that belong on every young reader's shelf..  The author, who in 2000 was declared a"Living Legend" by the Library of Congress, did not love reading in her early years, in fact she tried to drop out of the First Grade. She would go on to become a librarian and when a young patron complained that there were no books to read about "kids like him" Mrs. Cleary set about writing one.  "Henry Huggins," was first published in 1950, and soon Henry, his dog Ribsy, their neighbor Beezus and her sister the irrepressible,spunky,pesky Ramona! would become every young reader's friend.  
"That's what I wanted to read about when I was growing up. I wanted to read about the sort of boys and girls that I knew in my neighborhood and in my school. ... I think children like to find themselves in books."

 There are lots of reasons I am a reader, but no reader can become one without an introduction to wonderful stories.  Sure we may have Dr.Seuss to thank for learning to read but why we become readers, why we love curling up with a book, getting lost for hours on end, is because someone wrote a wonderful story and introduced us to characters we wanted to get to know and a world we wanted to move into. Someone had to open that magical door and say "come on in -its fun between the pages!"   For me that someone was Beverly Cleary.

I am pretty certain that "Ellen Tebbets" was my first Beverly Cleary book, but it may have been "Henry Huggins"  or "The Mouse and the Motorcycle", or "Beezus and Ramona" or ... 'Ramona the Pest"...it was Ramona, afterall, that "... terrible wicked girl..." ,who liked to make "...a great big noisy fuss",  and so we should about an author and her books that connected us to reading. 

Louis Darling Illustration from Ramona the Pest via

 Ramona is a character that no one can forget. Mrs. Cleary says, Ramona has to some degree been misunderstood.  It’s not that she’s naughty... it’s that “things just didn’t work out the way she thought they should.”  Well who couldn't relate to that?  Ramona got to kick up a fuss and cause a ruckus and speak her mind...and we loved her for that.  I still think the reason I will toss a shoe against a wall when things don't go my way is because of Ramona!   "She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next.”   Well, Ramona,  isn't that why we keep turning the pages!

So to celebrate this very special author and her very special day-go ahead  Just...Drop Everything and READ!

“I hope children will be happy with the books I’ve written, and go on to be readers all of their lives.” Beverly Cleary