I noticed in today’s Writer’s Almanac that it is the birthday of writer Beverly Cleary. She was the author of the first book I ever read on my own, Ribsy, as well as one of my favorite books from my childhood, The Mouse and the Motorcycle (see other books by her here).
I didn’t really like to read until I was in the third grade, but then the bug bit me hard. I have no doubt that omnivorous reading since then has contributed greatly to my own desire and ability to write, and the love of reading has been passed easily on to my own daughters. They’ve had their own noses tucked into books since they could first make out words, and my original copies of Ribsy and The Mouse and the Motorcycle have been among the many that have passed through their hands. Even as they’ve gotten older it delights me to walk through the living room and still see their little noses stuck in big books (though the computer monitor is starting to earn it’s time as well). I can imagine how much richer and well-rounded their lives will be as a result (and, thanks to reading, I have quite an imagination).
So, happy birthday, Mrs. Cleary. Thanks for the present!