Beverly Cleary – Style Icon

Born: April 12, 1916 (age 95) McMinnville, Oregon, USA
Occupation: Author
Genres: Children’s books, novels

Beverly Cleary (born Beverly Atlee Bunn; April 12, 1916) is an American author. Educated at colleges in California and Washington, she worked as a librarian before writing children’s books. Cleary has written more than 30 books for young adults and children. Some of her best-known characters are Henry Huggins, Ribsy, Beatrice (“Beezus”) Quimby, her sister Ramona, and Ralph S. Mouse. She has won many awards, including the 1984 Newbery Medal for her book Dear Mr. Henshaw.

Cleary’s books have been published in 20 different languages and have earned many awards. A few examples of awards she has won include a Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw (1984); a Newbery Honor for Ramona and Her Father (1978 ); a Newbery Honor for Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (1982); a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the Association for Library Services to Children of the American Library Association (1975); the Catholic Library Association’s Regina Medal (1980); and the Children’s Book Council’s Every Child Award (1985). Cleary’s books have been read on PBS and ABC-TV. She received the Library of Congress Living Legends award in the Writers and Artists category in April 2000 for her significant contributions to the cultural heritage of the United States. She received the National Medal of Arts in 2003.

Her birthday, April 12, is recognized as National Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) Day, in promotion of sustained silent reading.

In Portland, Oregon, the Hollywood branch of the Multnomah County Library, near where she lived as a child, commissioned a map of Henry Huggins’s Klickitat Street neighborhood that resides on its lobby wall. Statues of her beloved characters Henry Huggins; the Huggins’s dog, Ribsy; and Ramona Quimby can be found in Portland’s Grant Park. In June 2008, the two-campus K–8 school of the same neighborhood, Hollyrood-Fernwood, was officially renamed Beverly Cleary School. As a child, Cleary attended the former Fernwood Grammar School, one of the two buildings that makes up the school that now bears her name.

In 2004, the University of Washington Information School completed fund-raising for the Beverly Cleary Endowed Chair for Children and Youth Services to honor her work and commitment to librarianship. In 2008, the school announced that she had been selected as the next recipient of the University’s Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award, the highest honor the University of Washington can bestow on a graduate.

Cleary has a 220-student residential hall at the University of California, Berkeley named after her.

Cleary has been mentioned as a major influence by other authors, including Laurie Halse Anderson, Judy Blume, Lauren Myracle and Jon Scieszka.

Beth Ditto – Style Icon

Born: February 19, 1981 (age 30) Searcy, Arkansas, US

Mary Beth Patterson, known by her stage name Beth Ditto (born February 19, 1981, in Searcy, Arkansas), is an American singer-songwriter, most famous for her work with the indie rock band Gossip.

At 13, she moved out of her mother’s house and went to live with her aunt. A resident of Portland, Oregon, she is a close friend of Scissor Sisters lead singer Ana Matronic, and considers her favorite song to be “Oh Bondage, Up Yours” by X-Ray Spex. She courted mild controversy in 2006 when, during an interview for NME magazine, she claimed to have eaten squirrels as a child, saying that “people in Arkansas just do – they’d think you were a freak if you ate squid there!”

Ditto is known for her noticeable stage dances and her unique and revealing image. She also formerly contributed an advice column on body image to The Guardian newspaper.

In February 2009, she was featured in London as the cover model for the premiere of Love magazine with prominent public advertising. On July 9, 2009, Beth’s fashion collection for the UK retailer Evans was released for sale, both online, and in selected stores across the UK.

Ditto, who is a lesbian, is well known for her outspoken support of both LGBT and feminist causes.

Her most recent modeling work consisted of opening the Jean Paul Gaultier spring 2011 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on October 2, 2010.