My little one came rushing out of her classroom a few weeks ago to proudly show me the adorable snow owl she made in class - a pine cone covered in cotton with a crooked beak and asymmetrical eyes. I thought immediately of Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary. There is a scene where Ramona creates a particularly cool looking owl during art time at school only to have another girl copy it and selfishly take the credit for it. The story takes the anger we sometimes feel when things like this happen. We've all been in situations in life when other people take credit for our work. When that has happened in my life, it was good to think back to that story of Ramona's owl.
This little guy has sat perched up on our mantle, like he has been waiting for some sort of special attention. Today, on Facebook, Beverly Cleary asked her fans to send in a photo of an animal like one Ramona and her sister painted in art class. I am sending this picture to her, along with my thanks for her endearing influence on my generation. I really loved the Ramona Quimby books - Ramona helped me to sort out a lot of my own thoughts in childhood, she sparked my imagination (I would also pretend my closet was an elevator that would make an imaginary descent) and she is a character that has been a part of me and many others my age ever since.
Thank you, Beverly Cleary, for your writing - you've had a huge influence on Generation X.
Beverly Cleary has been given a very long list of awards, including the Newberry Medal, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. She has been named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress.