I used to think my favorite book holiday was April 23, not because it’s the day on which we celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday (well, that too), but because in Catalonia that’s Sant Jordi Day, when lovers give each other books and roses.I mean, for lovers of literature, is that a holiday, or what? Sant Jordi Day is still in my top two, but recently I discovered that today, April 12, is “Drop Everything And Read Day.”
I learned this while making another discovery, a happy one, that children’s author Beverly Cleary is still alive and in fact about to celebrate her 100th birthday–today! “Drop everything and read” comes from her book Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and the day has been recognized for a while as a way of encouraging children to read and adults to read to children. It seems like this would be one of those, “Oh, duh” holidays, like a day encouraging people to eat ice cream. But in today’s e-world, I’m not so sure. I met a 10-year-old boy recently and asked him what stuff he liked to do. “Play video games,” he said, with a sweet smile. “What’s your favorite?” I asked. “Call of Duty,” he replied, just as sweetly.
Anyway, with a last name like mine, Cleary has always been a favorite author, with both the Henry Huggins and Beezus and Ramona books. Despite my day job, I’m usually the last one to know anything, and so it was welcome news indeed to learn Clearly is still with us and doing pretty well, and that there’s a pretty cool holiday dedicated to her.
To that end: leave this blog pronto, drop everything, and read!