My birthday present to my wife
Well, this month we lost a giant. Beverly Cleary, creator of Ramona Quimby and the Mouse and the Motorcycle, passed away at the age of 104. While her career could fill pages, I'd like to write about another inspiring woman.
Mrs. Dawkins, my third grade teacher. She was the one who introduced me to the precocious little girl from Klickitat Street. She read us probably every Ramona book published at the time. And she made us believe it. She did the voices. Willa Jean had that simpering toddler voice. Howie had a perpetually whiny tone. Mrs. Whaley sounded wise and kind. Thanks to Mrs. Dawkins, those books came alive. I remember we had a sub once, and we were all annoyed when he didn't do the voices. It wasn't the same book, somehow.
We lost Mrs. Dawkins years ago, and I do not remember her first name. But it was her skill with read out louds that I feel set me on the path to librarianship. Thanks, Mrs. D. You were an inspiration.