On April 12, beloved children’s books author Beverly Cleary will turn 100.
The “Ramona” author told “Today” on Friday about her upcoming birthday, “Well, I didn’t do it on purpose!”
“I remember a very earnest conversation my best friend and I had when we were, I guess, freshmen in high school, about how long we wanted to live,” the author said. “And we decided that 80 was the cut-off date.”
Cleary, who grew up in Oregon, recalled that she didn’t start reading books until she was in the second grade — and didn’t think children’s books at the time were that interesting.
“Books in those days, back in the 1920s, had been published in England, and the children had nannies and pony carts and they seemed like a bunch of sissies to me,” she said.
When she began writing her own books for children, Cleary tackled very different characters like the pesky first-grader Ramona Quimby, her older sister Beezus and Ralph S. Mouse.
In total, Cleary has more than 40 books on her credit list.
Watch the video of Cleary’s “Today” interview below.