happy 100th birthday, Beverly Cleary!

If you’re between the age of 5 and 70 (and maybe even a little older or younger), there’s a good chance you grew up with friends named Henry Huggins, Ribsy, Beezus Quimby and her little sister Ramona, Ralph the mouse, Ellen Tebbits, and Socks the cat. And if you are familiar with any of these characters you’re probably also a fan of Beverly Cleary, the author of those wonderful books. Ms. Cleary is turning 100 today, and her books have influenced so many of us that it seemed appropriate to send her a little love.


The thing I love most about Cleary’s characters is how that they all embody the memories of what it feels like to be a child: to be nervous on the first day of school, eager to show how grown up you are, or to have the time and space to get lost in your imagination. All of her books capture that reality of childhood so beautifully and timelessly.

At our house, everyone’s favorite character is Ramona. When I think of Ramona, I picture her just as she was in Louis Darling’s wonderful illustrations, wearing a printed dress or a skirt and blouse, always with a fuzzy cardigan, socks that won’t stay pulled up, and clunky oxford shoes.


And, of course, with an inability to stay still for even a moment.


In honor of the day, we thought it would be fun to celebrate by dressing S as Ramona. Now that S is eleven, she’s probably more like Beezus than Ramona, but she hasn’t lost that playful spirit and sense of wonder and adventure–as evidenced by her willingness to play along for these photos.

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Happy birthday, Beverly Cleary!S is wearing a Swingset Skirt made with Woodland Clearing fabric and a Music Class Blouse made with Robert Kaufman Cambridge lawn (the same substrate as Woodland Clearing)


So happy 100th birthday, Beverly Cleary! Thanks for playing such an important part in the lives of so many of us, and for infusing our childhood, as well as those of our children (and grandchildren), with compassion and a playful spirit. We love you.


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  1. Sarvi

    Looooooooove her outfit, her spirit, and this post! Team Ramona 4eva!!!

  2. Murry

    Hooray for Beverly Cleary from all the children I have taught over more than 20 years! She has ALWAYS been one of their favorites. Great post and tribute to her and my favorite 2 characters. Well done S!

  3. Kerri Cayo

    I fell in love with reading when I discovered Ramona. Thanks for the fun post!

  4. Nicole

    Remember the whole tube of toothpaste squeezed out?
    Great post

    1. I loved that one, Nicole!

      1. Nicole

        I remember wanting to do it so badly but the thought of dipping my toothbrush in a bag turned my stomach.
        I am sure my mother was grateful.

        S is adorable and so grown up.

  5. Sarah Helene

    Fun tribute to such a beloved story book character/girl, ROMONA! Crazy story lines through the series meaning more powerful Imaginative play for all readers of all ages. Darling photo shoot! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kathy Dahlstrom

    Such a cute tribute. Sounds like a Beverly Cleary lookalike sewing contest is in order!

  7. I love these pictures. S has grown so tall ! She has the same figure as my own daughter. It’s becoming hard to fit her into kids’ size patterns. But she still wants to dress as the little girl she is. It’s quite a fun challenge for a sewing mom.

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