We love your books! I have read all of Beverly Cleary’s character books to Henrik. We started with Henry Huggins before Henrik turned two. Now that more than two years have passed we have started the whole series again. I read to Henrik from chapter books before his nap/quiet time and again before bedtime. I also read board and picture books to him throughout the day. Rob reads to Henrik for an additional 20-30 minutes as part of the evening wind down routine.
Henrik and I went on the Walking with Ramona neighborhood tour today. It poured all night and there was still heavy cloud cover as we started, but the sun soon popped out and the weather turned out to be perfect. The tour was lead by Portland author, Laura Foster. We started at Beverly Cleary Elementary—Fernwood Branch. The school was called Fernwood Grammar School when Mrs. Cleary went there, but she renamed it Glenwood School and Ramona, Beezus and Henry all went there. We walked by the house where Mrs. Cleary’s lived when she went to Fernwood. The house and the school are on N.E. Hancock Street, which she renamed Klickitat Street in her books.
We traveled through the neighborhood that inspired Mrs. Cleary’s fictional characters and storylines. We also learned about how many of the fictional stories in Mrs. Cleary’s books were inspired by similar real life events. There was actually a boy who was turned green by dye (paint in Henry Huggins) and got out of a part in the school play as a result. There was also a real football that ended up in a passing car (and was not returned in real life). I am so thankful that Mrs. Cleary turned her life’s events into so many wonderful fictional books. There is no shortage of good books anymore like there was when Mrs. Cleary was growing up, but I am glad to know that I can turn to any of her character books for a great read.
The walk ended at the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden in Grant Park that features statues of Ramona,
Henrik took a full complement of photos of each statue. His photos are on my Flickr site.
Thank you, Laura Foster, for spending your morning with us. We both enjoyed the walk and your stories.