An appreciation of Beverly Cleary: both children’s author and memoirist

Seattle Times
Beverly Cleary, age 6. She’s sitting on a table, legs crossed, hands at her sides. Her dress has puffy sleeves and her socks are pulled high and rolled at the top. Her haircut is a pageboy — what used to be called a Prince Valiant — with bangs straight across her forehead. But look at that face. The chin is level, the eyes are bright as a pair of sparklers, the lips are pulled back in a half-smile that says I’m Watching You. It’s there in every picture of Cleary, from her first-grade photo in 1922 to the ones from last year, when she celebrated her 100th birthday. Cleary was nobody’s little princess then and she’s nobody’s sweet old great-grandmother now, no surprise to anyone who’s read “Beezus and Ramona” or “The Mouse on the Motorcycle” or any of her 40 children’s books.

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"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." — Margaret Fuller