Walking With Ramona Tour | Beverly Cleary

April 13, 2011

Nana’s visit this past weekend coincided with the 95th birthday of Portland’s own Beverly Cleary. With Nana’s love for the author {and libraries} I was thrilled to discover the Walking with Ramona Tour {the beloved young heroine of Cleary’s whimsical books about growing up in Northeast Portland}. The tour began at the Hollywood Library and meandered through the neighborhood streets, including stops at the Hollywood Theater and Colossal Market {the original one-stop Fred Meyer, now Rite Aid}. 

Highlights of the tour included:
Beverly’s childhood home. I”d been on the lookout for this house since moving to NE but it’s actually located on Hancock Street, not Klickitat. Although Cleary never lived on Klickitat, located several blocks over, she thought it sounded more kid-friendly and decided to use it for Ramona’s house.

Picking dandelions at Fernwood Elementary {now renamed the Beverly Cleary School}, the inspiration for Glenwood School:

Riding Rigsby at the sculpture garden in Grant Park:

Walking the tree lined neighborhood streets of Ramona’s world:

Portland artist Lee Hunt sculpted the statues of the Cleary characters in clay, then had them cast in bronze. I’ve always loved these sculptures {and the fountains under Ramona’s and Ribsy’s feet on hot summer days} but now have a new appreciation for them:

Did you read Cleary’s books growing up? Do you have a favorite?

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