BEVERLY CLEARY • Here is a picture of Beverly when she was a young woman.
Beverly was born in 1916. • And here is what she looks like now.
Beverly’s Early Life • In her early years, Beverly lived on a farm in the tiny town of Yamhill, Oregon. Her name was Beverly Bunn. • The town was so small, it had no library!
Luckily, Beverly’s mother had the State Library send books to Yamhill. Beverly’s mom used a room above a bank and acted as the librarian so that all the children could borrow books.
BEVERLY MOVES TO THE CITY • When Beverly was six, she moved to a big city in Oregon called Portland. • She wasn’t used to a big city, or a big classroom.
STRUGGLING WITH READING • Her teacher put her in a “baby” reading group and she didn’t get over her difficulty in reading until 3rd grade. • She didn’t like the stories in the reader either. She wanted to read about kids like her, living in neighborhoods like hers, instead of reading about Pioneer children.
HER FAVORITE BOOK AS A CHILD • Beverly found a book she loved called The Dutch Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins. • She loved to read for enjoyment. • One reason she chose to write books for kids was to help struggling readers by writing books about kids just like them.
OFF TO COLLEGE AND BEYOND • Beverly went to college and earned her degree in English. • She also met her husband Clarence Cleary while she was in college. • Clarence encouraged Beverly to write books. She told him she couldn’t because she didn’t have any sharp pencils in the house.
GUESS WHAT CLARENCE CAME HOME WITH THE NEXT DAY! • Can you guess what was inside?
Did you guess correctly? • A Pencil Sharpener!
LIBRARIAN • After college, Beverly went to school to become a librarian. • She got a full-time job as a librarian. • Many children would come to the library searching for the same kinds of books that she looked for as a kid.
The children would say, • “PLEASE, PLEASE, HELP ME FIND A GOOD BOOK, A BOOK ABOUT KIDS JUST LIKE ME!”
So, she wrote some! • Her first book was Henry Huggins, about a boy who lives on a street in Portland called Klickitat Street. There really is a Klickitat Street and it is in the neighborhood where Beverly grew up.
Ramona Quimby • We meet a character named Ramona in the book Henry Huggins. • Beverly based her character on a little girl from the neighborhood.
AWARDS FOR BEVERLY • Beverly won the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw. • Two other books, Ramona and Her Father, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 won Newbery Honor Medals. • Her books are loved by children all over the world.
WHAT A GREAT IDEA! • The city of Portland wanted to honor Beverly Cleary. • They decided to build The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden and place it in Grant Park, in the neighborhood where Beverly grew up, and where her books take place.
KIDS HELP OUT • The city had to raise money for the Sculpture Garden. Kids saved their coins to help pay for the garden. • There was a contest to see which artist would do the sculptures. • An artist named Lee Hunt was picked by Beverly to do the sculptures.
IT FINALLY OPENS! • The dedication of the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden on October 13, 1995 was a great celebration! Over 1000 people came on a beautiful afternoon to see local actors in the roles of Henry, Ribsy and Ramona, unveil the three sculptures. Beverly Cleary spoke about growing up in the neighborhood and shared her memories of Grant Park and Grant High School in the 1930s.
SCULPTURE GARDEN • Would you like to see a picture of Beverly and Clarence Cleary at the dedication ceremony?
RAMONA • “Ramona” having fun in the sprinklers.
We can’t forget Ribsy! • Here is a statue of Ribsy. Children can stick their feet in the sprinklers on hot days.
HERE’S WHAT BEVERLY SAID ABOUT THE SCULPTURE GARDEN • “Oh, well, I was very honored and pleased and very touched at how hard they worked to raise the money. School children would bring coffee cans full of pennies and nickels. It was great fun to go up for the dedication. People tell me that there is lots of daily activity around it. People sit and look at it. Dogs come and look at Ribsy; they get their hackles up, and then they approach his figure. “
BEVERLY ALSO SAYS: • “There was a competition for the selection of the artist. I was asked to choose the winner, and I chose Lee Hunt. She loves the stories and her proposal was quite conscientious. She looked up children’s clothing from the 1950s and tried to select things that wouldn’t date. She went out and photographed the site and did a lot of things that showed she was truly interested. She worked very hard, and I think she captured the characters quite well as sculptures. “
BEVERLY CONTINUES ….. • “She also has some Ramona sculptures in the St. Paul Library Children’s Room in Minneapolis, I believe, and some of her Ramona busts are in the public library in Gresham, Oregon. She has been able to capture Ramona’s different expressions. In one of them, Ramona is just mad. In another she is smiling.”
I LOVE BEVERLY CLEARY! • I hope you enjoyed learning about Beverly Cleary. She is one of my favorite authors and I enjoyed creating this presentation. • Go on to the next slide for a link to more information about Beverly Cleary. • Mrs. Slattery, Grade 2
More About Beverly Cleary http://www.beverlycleary.com/beverlycleary/index.html