Monday, February 22, 2021

Beverly Cleary Author Study: Leave It to Beaver

Did you know Beverly Cleary wrote book adaptations of the TV show Leave It to Beaver? (Do you know how hard it is to make sure you type Beverly Cleary for the author and Beaver Cleaver for the character? Those names are WAY too similar...try it!) She wrote three Cleaver books in 1960 and 1961. 

According to my research, each chapter in the book relates to an episode of the TV show, or combines a couple episodes in one. My mom loves the show and has the series on DVD, so I'm going to borrow it and watch at least the episodes Cleary wrote about to see how they compare. I'm also going to loan the books to my mom and see what she thinks about them.

I went into this book knowing a bit about Beaver Cleaver because of my mom, so I thought he'd fit right in with Cleary's other mischievous kids, but this book is a little stilted. I thought I just didn't really "get" Beaver Cleaver until I found out that she was hired to write the books and had to work within some requirements and word counts, so the stories don't flow like her normal writing does.

Note: This book has illustrations, but I can't find an illustrator credited in the book or online. Credit is given to Cleary as the author and the show creators, but the copyright is held by Gomalco Productions and no other names are mentioned.

If you want a laugh, check out this never-before-published "script" of Beaver Cleaver finding out about his books.

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