You don’t want to miss this! Children’s Author Beverly Cleary is approaching her 100th birthday, and Jenna Bush Hager invites us to sit and visit with the two of them on the TODAY show recorded at http://youtu.be/dcT5hsD2Pb. (cut and paste into your browser)
“I didn’t’ do it on purpose,” the Literary Legend says, on turning 100.
This amazing author has written more than 40 books, and has sold more than 75 million copies in 25 languages. Her first was penned in 1955. Beverly Cleary's wit, humor, and candor come through in this personal conversation. I was particularly inspired to learn her motivation for writing.
Questions of interest are:
What are you most proud of?
What are you looking forward to?
A bit of lightweight research gave me even more insight into the life of this fascinating woman. At Scholastic.com I discovered:
• The role her mother played in her love of books
• Her own struggle as a reader
• Her advice to children who aspire to write
Learning to Love Books
Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There, Beverly learned to love books.
A Struggling Reader
When the family moved to Portland, where Beverly attended grammar school and high school, she soon found herself in the low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers. By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian suggested that she write books for children when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read, but was unable to find on the library shelves — funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew.
Advice to Children
Beverly's hobbies are travel and needlework. When children ask Beverly where she finds her ideas, she replies, “From my own experience and from the world around me.” Henry Huggins, written when she was in her early thirties, was her first attempt at writing. Her advice to the many children who write asking for “tips” on writing is for them to read widely while growing up, and when the time comes for them to write, they will find their own way of writing and will not need tips to guide them.
“Sixty years of work and a storybook life, with more chapters still to come,” leaves me wanting to dash to the children’s section of my public library! How about you?