Sixty-three years ago, a librarian from Yakima, Washington, kept hearing the same complaint from her youngest visitors: They had nothing to read. Tired of fairy tales and dull Dick-and-Jane readers, they wanted stories about kids like themselves – average grade-schoolers dealing with parents, siblings, school and pets. The librarian decided to try writing one herself.
The librarian’s name was Beverly Cleary, and that book, Henry Huggins, started a writing career that has earned her numerous awards, a library holiday in her honor – and even a doll in her likeness! Most of all, her works have entertained generations of children and inspired such writers as Judy Blume and Jon Scieszka.
Cleary recently turned 97 (!), and her birthday, April 12, has been designated “Drop Everything and Read Day” in honor of her passion for helping children develop a love for books.
Although all of her books are a delight, here are 10 we especially recommend for your child’s library. If you haven’t read them in a while, you’ll love rediscovering them too!
Happy (belated) birthday, Beverly Cleary!
[Photos: via Amazon]