Apr. 17th, 2016

Beverly Cleary, author of a popular series of children's books, turned 100 this past week. When asked to explain her popularity, she said that she has always written to entertain, not to teach moral lessons. But she did apparently worry back in the 1980s about how celebrity-oriented the children of that generation were becoming. Is that even more of a concern in the age of Internet and instant gratification? Or perhaps the thirst for stardom has abated now that any kid (within the limits of whatever parental controls are imposed) can go on Facebook or Twitter or YouTube and be seen and also heard?

Ramona was originally a supporting character in the Henry Huggins books but went on to become a bigger star than Henry. Evidently a lot of kids - myself included - could relate to being the bratty tagalong younger sister!

Ramona went on to have her own TV series starring Canada's own Sarah Polley as Ramona. In fact, I think it was the first series I remember seeing Sarah Polley in, though of course she went on to star as Sara Stanley in Road to Avonlea, and then to acting and directing for the big screen. Not all child actors are able (nor perhaps willing) to transition as well to adult roles. Megan Follows, for example, who at one time seemed to be in virtually every obscure CBC drama out there, as well as the famous ones like Anne of Green Gables, doesn't seem to be nearly so high-profile nowadays. Or perhaps she has simply pursued a different route (maybe stage-acting or some creative endeavour that's primarily behind the scenes)?

I wonder if we can expect any new stories from Beverly Cleary. Or perhaps one of her descendants will pick up the mantle using some of the same characters? Whatever the case, she will be leaving a rich legacy that will entertain many generations to come!

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