On the west side of Portland’s Grant Park, three statues depict a boy, his dog, and a bubbly little girl splashing in a puddle. These are Henry Huggins, Ribsy, and Ramona Quimby, all characters dreamed up by the beloved author Beverly Cleary.
One of the most popular children’s authors, Cleary is known for her relatable characters and their adventures featured in books like Ramona the Pest and Henry and Beezus. Cleary grew up in the Hollywood neighborhood of Portland and used this setting and her own childhood experiences in her novels.
The fictional Quimby family live on the very real Klickitat Street, only a few blocks from Grant Park, where Cleary played as a child. Walking tours of the neighborhood point out the places that made it into Cleary’s novels, like the parking lot where Ramona got her boots stuck in the mud or the lawn where Henry dug for night crawlers.
Even though she no longer resides in Portland, the city has embraced the writer as its own, immortalizing her most popular characters in the Grant Park statues. The statues are actually part of a small fountain that, when turned on, makes it appear as though the kids and Ribsy are splashing in a puddle. Surrounding the statues are granite tiles engraved with titles of Cleary’s books set in Portland.