|Just like Beverly : a biography of Beverly Cleary (Growing to greatness)|
Author: Conrad, Vicki
A beautifully illustrated children's biography of Beverly Cleary, from her roots in Portland to her years as a librarian and an eventual children's book writer.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 504645
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/01/19)
School Library Journal (00/07/19)
Booklist (+) (06/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2019 *Starred Review* This memorable picture-book biography begins with Beverly Cleary growing up on a farm. An only child, she loved stories and made up her own. After her family moved to Portland, she played with neighborhood children and looked forward to starting school. Unfortunately, her autocratic first teacher insisted that left-handed Beverly must write with her right, and she punished the child with a switch for daydreaming. The next year, a new teacher encouraged Beverly, who quickly learned to read and, within a few years, began winning prizes for her writing. As an adult, Cleary became a children’s librarian and wrote books inspired by vivid memories of her youth. For somewhat older kids, an eight-page appended section offers a time line and a fuller account of her life. Conrad writes with clarity and features significant details that bring Cleary’s experiences and personality to life for kids today. Hohn makes good use of color, light, and pattern in his imaginative illustrations, which interpret the text sensitively. The artwork looks fresh and appealing while suggesting the period, the emotional resonance, and the upbeat spirit of Cleary’s books. An endearing portrayal of Cleary and a fine debut for the publisher’s new Growing to Greatness series, featuring well-known people from the Pacific Northwest. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2019 K-Gr 4—Beverly Cleary always loved stories, but she struggled to learn to read and write. This compassionate narrative nonfiction account of Cleary overcoming challenges and following her dreams is full of inspirational messages and connections to her enduring classics. Following this narrative is a more factually detailed recounting of her life written in traditional nonfiction format, including photos and a time line. Though Cleary and readers are separated by nearly a century, many parts of the iconic author's childhood will resonate with today's young people: school struggles, the joy of playing with friends, and the importance of kind and supportive adults. Using a style and dynamism reminiscent of Louis Darling's original drawings in many of Cleary's books, Hohn's depiction of the young author looks remarkably like Ramona. The setting of her childhood is fleshed out with details like horse-drawn plows and carts and historically accurate clothing and hairstyles. Observant readers will notice many subtle nods to the books starting on the title page, where Cleary's legs are seen hanging from a tree branch above evidence of Ramona's mantra that "the first bite of an apple tastes best." Many are sure to be won over by the sheer nostalgia factor, but this book also contains a powerful message for young readers and dreamers: "Try! Anyone can talk about writing, but only those who sit down and do it will succeed." VERDICT A celebration of Cleary, literacy, and the pursuit of ambitious dreams, this charming picture book will enhance any biography collection.—Elizabeth Lovsin, Deerfield Public Library, IL - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.