Friday, April 12, 2013


If, like me, you occasionally feel the need to spend a little time with the endearing, funny, innocent characters forever residing on Klickitat Street, please join me in a shout out:


You can read about this iconic American author here, on a HarperCollins site devoted to her and her books,

here, in an interview with Highlights for Children,

here, in an article by Jim Trelease,

and here, in The New York Times:

What an inspiration!

Not only is today Ms. Cleary's birthday, it is national Drop Everything And Read day. After Ms. Cleary mentioned D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby Age 8 in 1981, the practice spun out across the country faster than the wheels of Ralph Mouse's motorcycle. I first heard of D.E.A.R. when it was a daily event at my kids' elementary school. Oh, how they loved when their teachers stopped in the middle of another subject to shout, "Drop everything and read!" Oh, how I loved seeing every kid in school carrying a library book.

According to HarperCollins' website, D.E.A.R. is "a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. Because, what's more fun(damental) than reading, really?"

Educators and parents, you'll want to visit the D.E.A.R. site, where you'll find "reading lists, activity ideas, digital assets, and other resources to get you started and keep you busy."

Also, be sure to check out the Ramona Journal, released just a few weeks ago. I would have LOVED this book when I was a kid. Okay, I'd love it now. I'll have to buy one for my great niece in order to get an in-depth look.

I'm off today to attend the SCBWI-Iowa spring conference to spend the weekend talking books. What could be better?

Jill Esbaum

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