Beverly Cleary Is 95

While we’re celebrating birthdays, let us wish a very happy one to the great Beverly Cleary, who turns 95 today. Henry Huggins is the very first chapter book I remember reading. It led me to the rest of her books, even the ones about girls, which is usually a tough sell for a little boy. I have no idea how the kids of today relate to her stuff — its simplicity may make it seem impossibly remote in our age of child sexting or whatever — but I hope they’re as able to connect to it as I was; she is indeed one of the writers who made me an enthusiastic reader, and the experience of enjoying an author’s work so much that you want to read more of it is not to be undervalued at an early age.