From Ramona Quimby, Age 8 to The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Beverly Cleary’s beloved books have affected generations of readers and writers. To celebrate the author’s 100th birthday, three of Cleary’s most famous fans — Amy Poehler, Judy Blume, and Kate DiCamillo — have each written a foreword to a brand-new edition of one of their favorite books.
These revamped editions of Ramona Quimby, Age 8; The Mouse and the Motorcycle; Henry Huggins; and Cleary’s memoir A Girl From Yamhill, hit shelves Jan. 26, but EW is thrilled to present a sneak peek at each of these brilliant essays, below:
“In today’s world, where people are always searching for ‘strong female characters,’ Mrs. Cleary was ahead of her time. Ramona was a pest! She was irascible and uncompromising! She was allowed to be angry and was not afraid to stand up to boys!”— Amy Poehler, on Ramona Quimby, Age 8
“I had read Beverly Cleary’s book The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and I knew that the objects and people and mice of the world were not at all as they seemed on the surface. I knew that, in the right circumstances, mice could do impossible, improbable things. For instance, they could ride motorcycles.” —Kate DiCamillo, on The Mouse and the Motorcycle
“I wish I’d had Beverly Cleary’s books to read when I was growing up. But by the time Henry Huggins was published I was twelve years old and thought of myself as too grown up for children’s books. Big mistake! I’m just glad I got to read them when I was starting out as a writer. I’m not sure there would be a Peter and Fudge if I hadn’t.” —Judy Blume, on Henry Huggins