Inspiration for her books
Beverly got much of her inspiration from everyday, ordinary things in her life. She said, "I was a very observant child. The boys in my books are based on boys in my neighborhood growing up."
Many of her books are set in Oregon, or the Pacific Northwest. This is because that is where Beverly grew up. It is often best to write about what you know, rather than trying to make everything up. When children ask Mrs. Cleary where she finds her ideas, she replies, “From my own experience and from the world around me.”
Beverly prefers writing books for 3rd and 4th graders, best. She likes to include problems that children would have to face everyday. She says, "In 50 years, the world has changed, especially for kids, but kids' needs haven't changed. They still need to feel safe, be close to their families, like their teachers, and have friends to play with." She thinks the world has enough problems that kids will eventually face, so she keeps the problems in her books small.
Whenever Beverly is asked what time period her books are set in, she can never say. Her only answer is simply, "childhood." When reading her books this proves to be true. She writes classically and timelessly. Her books are as relevant to children now as they were in 1950 when they were first being published.