Beverly Cleary turns 100! A bronze statue of Ramona Quimby stands in the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children in Portland, Oregon. (lance_mountain, Flickr/Creative Commons))
Beverly Cleary turns 100!
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Adored children's books can feel timeless. When their authors live long lives, there's some kind of poetic justice. One example is Maurice Sendak who is the author of "Where the Wild Things Are." He recently died at age 84. Or think of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who died at age 90. But some authors outlast nearly all of their counterparts. This is even as their stories continue to charm kids who are a mere fraction of their age.
 
Beverly Cleary turned 100 on April 12. She is one in that small but respected group. The Oregon-based author is best known for kids' classics like "Henry Huggins", "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" and "Ramona Quimby, Age 8." Over the years, she's sold more than 91 million copies of her 39 books. They have sold all over the world. Her career has been praised with everything from multiple Newbery Medals and Honors to a "Living Legend" designation. The latter came from the Library of Congress.
 
If you've ever adventured along with the Quimby girls on Klickitat Street, you may know that Cleary is almost synonymous with Portland, Oregon. She spent much of her young life in the city. Then she turned her real-life experiences into children's books. They incorporate real places that can still be visited today. And perhaps the perfect cherry on top of a Cleary-themed jaunt through the rose-studded city is a trip to the sculpture garden. It was built in her honor in Grant Park in northeast Portland.
 
The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children was built within the park in 1991. It was constructed by a group of librarians, teachers and Portland locals. They were eager to pay tribute to their favorite author of children's books. 

The park itself is featured in several Cleary books. It is most memorable as the site where Henry Huggins frantically digs up nightcrawlers. It features life-sized statues of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins and Huggins' dog, Ribsy. Quotes from the books and fountains make the garden even more fun. Cleary-curious travelers can also find a neighborhood map at the park. The map tells them how to explore other local sites related to the author.
 
Want to take your Cleary sculptural viewing to another level in honor of her 100th? Stop by the Multnomah County Library's central branch. See if you can find a plaque featuring a depiction of the timeless (and, seemingly, ageless) author.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do beloved children's books feel timeless?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (154)
  • oliviam-6-bar
    4/14/2016 - 08:17 p.m.

    Beloved children's books feel timeless to so many people. Many including the parents and grandparents of thoes children. One example is Maurice Sendak who is the author of Where the Wild Things Are. He recently died at age 84. But why do they seem to last forever? "there's some kind of poetic justice." Also, "This is even as their stories continue to charm kids who are a mere fraction of their age."

  • sean1116-byo
    4/14/2016 - 09:16 p.m.

    This article was fun to read because I enjoy books a lot. Beverly Cleary's were love by everyone including me. The books gave us an infinite imagination and would help us get better at reading. These books were always fun and was loved by all. The authors of our childhood books should get a million pats on the backs for making our childhoods amazing.

  • william1108-yyca
    4/14/2016 - 09:33 p.m.

    It is amazing that Beverly Cleary turns 100 years old. I don't think that I will be able to be alive even when I am a 100 years old. And also it is amazing that she sold over 91 million coppies of her 39 books. That it so amazing. And also she als might be rich. But also I think that the article said that she is dead. And also that most of the places that she wrote in her stories are still alive here today. Maybe I will learn more about her one day.

  • briannt-3-bar
    4/14/2016 - 09:50 p.m.

    Beloved children's books feel timeless because they have been around for ever and been read to each generation of children. The stories can also relate to the real life one day for them. The stories also keep their imagination and let being a kid be fun. I choose this article because my aunt lives in Oregon with her children, and my cousins. I would like to visit them one day and also go to Washington, the state above them and see Seattle.

  • lizzied-kut
    4/14/2016 - 09:53 p.m.

    I think it is great that these people are being recognized. The earth has come to only recognizing the rich and the famous but there are a lot more important people out in the world that should be recognized more than Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. The people who deserve to be recognized are those who have made a difference in our world or done good things to help others. People who have a number one song on the radio should never be recognized more than the helpers and doers in the world.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    4/14/2016 - 09:54 p.m.

    The children's book author had turned 100 years old and people had been able to make a garden in honor of some of the characters from one of Beverly Cleary's books that she published. The people might have been able to make a garden that had been able to honor some of the books that Beverly Cleary had been able to publish while she was growing in her life time. The people might have been able to see that Beverly Cleary had turned 100 year old and that the people had been able to make a garden that had been able to make a garden for her honors. People might have been able to see that making a garden in honor of some of Beverly Cleary's books would be see that the childrens would be seeing about Beverly Cleary's books that she had published.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why do beloved children's books feel timeless?
    Answer: I know that beloved children's books feel timeless because when children are reading a children's book, they wouldn't stop reading the book as they are reading the children's book.

  • brianag-6-bar
    4/14/2016 - 11:34 p.m.

    Beloved children's books feel timeless "When their authors live long lives, there's some kind of poetic justice." For example the man that wrote "Where the Wild Things are" died recently at the age of 84. Beverly Cleary recently turned 100 and is supported greatly from all the fans out that are in love with her books. Beverly Cleary has written 39 books in her carrier and was very successful. I chose this article because when I was younger my favorite book was "Ramona Quimby, Age 8" by Beverly Cleary.

  • brookes-r-bar
    4/15/2016 - 01:08 a.m.

    Beloved children's books feel timeless because you can read them over and over again. Reading these types of books may make you feel young again. "Adored children's books can feel timeless. When their authors live long lives, there's some kind of poetic justice." (Paragraph one states.)

    In my opinion I liked reading children's books especially the fairy tales because they make you believe in a happily ever after.

  • jeremiahy-612-
    4/15/2016 - 09:28 a.m.

    Well beloved children's books feel timeless because they are loved so much that they feel like they could never get old.

  • karliw-1-bar
    4/15/2016 - 10:22 a.m.

    Beloved children books, especially those of Beverley Cleary, feel timeless because children have grown up reading them. And, at a certain point in time, if the author of those books remains alive for a longer period of time, the book they created is even more special to readers. For example, Beverley Cleary, whose 39 total books have sold 91 million copies worldwide, recently tuned 100 on April 12th. Cleary based her books on her own experiences when she was growing up in Portland, Oregon. It is authors like Cleary, those who put authentic details into their books for younger generations, that make childhood classics timeless and classic.

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