Violet Covered Tea Cup

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Note From The Author, THE TEACUP IS REAL!

Merilee sitting with actual tea cup

I believe that storytelling is one of the most important gifts we can give our children and ourselves. The art of storytelling, I'm happy to say is making a comeback. My family would often sit around telling stories, some old favorite ones we had all heard before but never tired of hearing, and some new stories. Storytelling helps people of all ages connect with their ancestors, members of their current family and others in society in a way nothing else can.

I originally wrote down the story of the violet-covered teacup, intending to make it into a handmade book to pass down, along with the actual teacup, to my own granddaughter. Most of the illustrations were made from actual family photos. Grandparents have a unique perspective all their own that they can share with their grandchildren. The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is a very special one. The loss of grandparents is something we must all face at some point in our lives. I especially wanted my grandchildren to know this story about my life and hope that it might be en-light-ening for others as well.

Class Room Reading evolves into Class Room Project with Local Seniors

My second grade students read the Violet-Covered Teacup, and loved the story. It evoked wonderful grandparent memories for some, and wistful wishes of a grandparent relationship in others. We have a retirement care center nearby, so I asked my students if they would like to visit some "grandparents" from there, to hear their stories and get ideas for writing stories. My students were delighted!

I received a small grant to cover bus and incidental fees. We decided to arrange three visits so that students and elders could build friendships. As a class we brain stormed questions, and practiced asking them. When we got to the Care Center there were many residents waiting, ready to tell their stories to eager listeners.After a brief shyness, a joyful confusion of chatter took over. I was not sure how much we had accomplished until we returned to class. Students loved the visit and had indeed heard many stories that they wanted to write.

They soon learned that they did not have enough details, and looked forward to asking more in-depth questions at the next meeting. For me the best moment was the end of the second visit. After each visit my students sang, "You Are My Sunshine" and the elders joined in. At our second visit I saw kids inching over to nestle into their "grandparents" during the song, and kind older arms returning the warmth.

Our last visit will be on May first. We will bring May Baskets for our elders, with violet paper flowers to celebrate our new friendships. Good education is all about building connections and celebrating community. We are grateful for this good book, and the role it has played in our own community.

-Renee Fruiht, Second Grade Teacher, John Jacob Astor School, Astoria, Oregon


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Merilee Ann Cameron's delightful book 'The Violet-Covered Teacup' explains the passing of her grandmother in such a simple wonderful way that a child could understand and be comforted by the passing of someone they love as well as preparing them to deal with their sadness and express the love they feel in the process.
-Rev. Shirley Calkins Smith, Evolutionary Tutor

This is the kind of book you wished your parents had read to you when you were a kid. It's a lovely story told from the heart, and the illustrations are wonderful!
- Charles Schweigert, Author and Artist


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I believe that all important events in our human lives will repeat themselves, many times during our lifetimes. I believe that beautiful "mawmaw" Mary F. Collier knew that when Merilee was born; that loving kindness had come to live in her family. Now Mother Earth is very happy and she waits for Merilee's next books.
Thank you Merilee.
With Loving Blessings,
- Joseph Beautiful Painted Arrow Rael

Thank you so much for The Violet-Covered Teacup. I found it beautifully written and illustrated. I hope Merilee writes more.
-Pam Stang, Psychotherapist, London, U.K.

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