Did you know that Beverly Cleary recently passed away, on March 25, 2021? She passed less than a month shy of turning 105. Her birthday was this past Monday, April 12. Wow! In honor of her recent passing and birthday, I’m featuring this picture book bio of her this week. She certainly brought me many happy moments with her Ramona books. I discovered them in second grade and read almost the whole series. I just loved the emotional realism and family life. Beverly made the everyday life of an ordinary little girl heroic. Isn’t that something we all need? To see the Hero Journey in everyday people? You might be scoffing at the idea of Ramona being heroic, but it’s true! Getting her dad to quit smoking, being a good sport when her mom goes to college and she has to be babysat at the neighbors, and learning how not to be a pest are all heroic deeds!
This book’s main message is that if you never try, you are sure to fail. But if you make an effort and persist, you are sure to win. Just like Beverly. She sat down and wrote, didn’t give up, and fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a writer. I love the message and the illustrations, plus the timeline and lengthy bio at the end for older readers. It’s all lovely!