Beverly Cleary, “Ramona” author, turns 94
My sister and I loved Ramona! My dad even loved Ramona. We read these books religiously and to this day I still remember excerpts, scenes and quotes from them. So obviously, when I saw the headline (ok, so not a headline in the New York Times or anything, but still) that Ramona author Beverly Cleary turned 94, I was immediately brought back to the Quimby household and my own childhood.
There is a great interview with Beverly Cleary where she talks candidly about celebrating her birthday and reveals details on how some of the books came to be. She says that she wrote Henry Huggins in 1950 when she was a children’s librarian. At the time, there weren’t too many contemporary books for young boys and when one of the children asked her, “Where are the books about kids like us?” she decided to get to work.
In honor of Cleary’s 94th birthday, I thought I’d make a list of some of the random things I remember from her books. This involved no cheating, no google searches, no trips to my old bookshelves to dig up Ramona Forever – these are scenes and themes that I remember as if it were yesterday.
- Ramona once squeezes an entire new tube of toothpaste into the sink
- The Quimbys had a cat named Picky Picky
- Once Mrs. Quimby forgets to turn on the crock pot in the morning and when the family comes home all grumpy at the end of the day, dinner isn’t waiting for them
- Ramona cracks a raw egg on her egg
- Ramona throws up in school one day. She had eaten oatmeal for breakfast and then they were studying fruit flies in class that were in a jar with dyed oatmeal. I remember the line exactly: “‘Go away blue oatmeal,’ thought Ramona.”