Literary Pursuits

Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden

When I was a little girl learning to read–just emerging into chapter books–one of my favorite authors was Beverly Cleary.

Did you love her books, too?

Lyle did.

In fact, I dug out his boyhood copy of Ribsy especially for this post.

(That’s Sits posing with Ribsy. If you aren’t acquainted with Sits you can learn more about him here.)

A couple of weeks ago, we took a little trip to the Oregon coast for our anniversary. As we were driving through Portland I mentioned to Lyle that sometime I’d like to find the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden. We decided that day was as good a time as any, so we asked Rhoda (our GPS) to lead the way.

It turns out the sculptures are actually in a park rather than a garden. I love that. It fits the characters and stories.

Henry Huggins stands quietly by a tree with a ball in his hand, just getting ready to throw it for Ribsy. The plaque on the ground next to him, with a quote from Henry Huggins (the book), describes this very park.

HENRY

It was a warm night
and the tennis courts
and swimming pool
were floodlighted…
He passed the playground where
he heard the children’s shourts
and the clank and clang
of the rings and swings.

Henry Huggins
1950

The playground is to the left of the sculpture garden.

The sculpture of Henry looks out over the splash fountain (which was turned off for the season and full of brilliant leaves the day we were there) and the tennis courts beyond.

The other two characters featured are Ramona and Ribsy.

I love the quote on Ribsy’s plaque…

Later, I found it in Lyle’s copy of Ribsy (the book)…

My favorite sculpture, and character, is Ramona the Pest.

I’m sure there’s a plaque in the sculpture garden for her, too, but for some reason I didn’t think to look for it.

It was such a beautiful autumn afternoon to revisit some old friends and enjoy the nostalgia of childhood for a few minutes.

I’m so glad we took the time to stop.

I look forward to reading your comments. Thanks for joining in the conversation! ~Karla

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