Today, an American treasure turns 100. Beverly Cleary, author and creator of beloved characters like Ramona and Beezus Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse, has provided us with stories that are timeless classics.
Although many of her books are set in a time when mothers didn’t work outside the home and computers were things found in science fiction, the human nature that Cleary is able to describe so eloquently is unchanging and forever relatable. We asked some Demme Learning employees to share their favorite Beverly Cleary book or character.
Jean S., Managing Editor: My favorite Beverly Cleary book was Ellen Tebbits. It was so gratifying to see that I wasn’t the only socially-awkward misfit whose mother made her wear old-fashioned clothing! Beverly Cleary is a master at understanding children and helping them laugh and grow through the stories she tells – definitely one of my all-time favorite authors!
Carolyn M., Marketing Coordinator: I remember sitting in the corner of our library with my class, and watching filmstrips of Ramona Quimby, the little girl who tried, but couldn’t avoid getting into scrapes. I’ll never forget the moment she accidentally crushed the egg on her head at lunch. Who hasn’t had a day in third grade kind of like that?
Melissa L., Administrative Assistant: Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Beezus and Ramona were my JAM as a kid! One of my favorite parts was when she thought her parents were getting a divorce because they argued about how pancakes were supposed to be cooked! I also loved when Ramona was so mad she desperately wanted to swear, but didn’t know any swear words so she said, “guts” over and over…
Heather U., Accounting Generalist: The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a classic. I’m so glad my kids still have books that keep their interest more than apps or video games.
Gretchen R., Consultative Sales Rep: We love Beverly Cleary – she has been a part of our family for years!! One of my favorite lines from Ramona Quimby, Age 8 is: “With all four members of the family leaving at different times in different directions, mornings were flurried in the Quimby household.” I often think that things are “flurried” – in all sorts of ways!!
Joseph D., Online Marketing Specialist: Two of my favorite books growing up were Ralph S. Mouse and The Mouse and the Motorcycle; I love how Cleary writes these books in a way that they’re believably fantastical. I recently started reading Ramona the Pest to my three-year-old daughter, and after two pages she announced, “No pictures!” She’s not quite ready yet, but I’m sure she’ll be a fan.
Aimee S., Marketing Manager: All of the Ramona books resonated with me, as a little sister who mercilessly, and often unintentionally, tortured her big sister. I can also relate to thinking I’m smarter than I really am and being humbled in some pretty humiliating ways. As Cleary says, “It’s not that [Ramona] is naughty, it’s that things just didn’t work out the way she thought they should.” Ramona made me laugh at her experiences and helped me develop the ability to laugh at my own.
Cleary is unique in her broad, timeless appeal. Her stories are perfect for reading aloud and appreciated by readers and listeners of all ages. Visit your library to share these funny, touching, engaging stories with the next generation of readers.