Jimmy and Janet are twins, but that doesn’t mean they are just alike.When we first meet Jimmy, he wants to dig a real hole. He likes to use a real, grown-up shovel. While he’s working, his sister, Janet, pretends to be a bird! She likes to use her imagination. But the twins both like silly jokes, brand- new boots, and talking to Mr. Lemon, the mailman.As Beverly Cleary writes about Jimmy and Janet’s doings, the unique understanding of children that she brings to all of her beloved books is coupled with a keen awareness of duo dynamics that comes from raising twins herself.Originally published as four separate picture books (The Real Hole, Two Dog Biscuits, The Growing-Up Feet, and Janet’s Thingamajigs), these are stories that a Jimmy would like because they are so true-to-life, and that a Janet would love because they are so believable.
Beverly Cleary is one of America’s most beloved authors. As a child, she struggled with reading and writing. But by third grade, after spending much time in her public library in Portland, Oregon, she found her skills had greatly improved. Before long, her school librarian was saying that she should write children’s books when she grew up.Instead she became a librarian. When a young boy asked her, “Where are the books about kids like us?” she remembered her teacher’s encouragement and was inspired to write the books she’d longed to read but couldn’t find when she was younger. She based her funny stories on her own neighborhood experiences and the sort of children she knew. And so, the Klickitat Street gang was born!Mrs. Cleary’s books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented to her in recognition of her lasting contribution to children’s literature. Dear Mr. Henshaw won the Newbery Medal, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. Her characters, including Beezus and Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph, the motorcycle-riding mouse, have delighted children for generations.