When our grandchild was born three years ago I started researching and buying books. As a lifelong reader, I believe that there is no gift more important that we can give our children or grandchildren than a love of the written word. To me, some of my most precious memories are those I have of reading books with each of my children in turn, laughing, crying, learning, loving, stretching our minds and imaginations together…so much fun!

Some of my earliest memories, that don’t involve animals, revolve around books, bookstores and libraries. My mother was an elementary school teacher and so I think she probably instilled in my sister and me the importance of and love for, reading. I have such fond memories of our many trips to the Alexandria Public Library and flipping through the card catalog – yes – the card catalog, just reading the titles of books! It was magic.

There isn’t anything you can’t find or do or be in a book. You can go anywhere, anytime in a book. This passion that I have for books is a gift that I have tried to pass on to my children, and now my grandson, as well. Reading is a gift that no one can take from you. Reading can be educational or it can whisk you away to another world.

As I peruse people’s blogs, I always find it fascinating just how much personal information they are willing to put out here on the WORLD WIDE WEB! I think perhaps this is a factor of my age. I am NOT a big one for sharing. Let’s just say I am a young “Mimi” because that is what our grandson calls me and keeping up with a three year old will definitely keep you young…at heart!

Several years ago, I had lunch with an acquaintance in Fort Worth, who was already a grandmother, and loving every minute of it. In fact she liked it so much she wrote a book called Generation G: Advice for Savvy Grandmothers Who Will Never Go Gray. I bought a copy for every grandmother I knew at the time. It’s a great book! Marty was a real role model for the kind of grandmother that I wanted to be.

But I didn’t have to go that far. My own mother has been an amazing mother, grandmother and now great-grandmother! Her enthusiasm and energy for life and her four grandchildren and three great-grands is unfailing. From chasing a goose with the pacifier at the Petting Zoo in Reston to climbing the Great Wall in China she has been there every step of the way.

We live in Virginia now and have for the last 16 years. But prior to that, we spent 13 years living in Germany, Hong Kong, and the UK – raising our 3 children along the way. Living overseas opened so many worlds for our children – it was a wonderful time and a great educational experience for them. But it was good to come home and put down roots…our little international citizens came home to roost in the USA…one for the very first time!

Over the years, in different countries all over the world we have made good friends with local independent booksellers who have guided our reading and for that we have all been very grateful. Sadly, it is becoming more and more difficult to find those people. And so, not because I am an expert, at all, but because I have a passion for children and the books that they read, I have decided to embark on this little venture. Perhaps, you might find a book or two that will spark your child’s imagination. I hope so.

This is why I started my blog last year. I wanted to, in my own way, try to share quality children’s literature with people. There is just too much junk, out there for children to read, and while in principle I believe reading anything is better than nothing at all, why not make good choices – there are sooo many good children’s books available.

After a year of writing almost exclusively about books, I have decided that Cattail Chronicles should broaden its horizons. So as we begin a new year, so too, will we embark on a voyage of discovery here. Spending time with our grandson has reminded me just how much fun it is to be in the kitchen with a little one. And, I love how excited he gets when we are able to do art projects or crafts together.

So this year we will be talking about healthy and fun food for children, craft projects, what children wear these days, and rooms made for children, whether those are playrooms or bedrooms.

If you have a suggestion to share with me, please send me an email at cattailchronicles@gmail.com. I welcome your comments here, in fact I look forward to hearing from you, but please, only nice, positive comments, because, after all this is for and about our children.