Have you signed up for your copy of the Under the Chinaberry Tree catalogue? The catalogue has been around for thirty years – since the days when online shopping was not available. You must remember those days when it was exciting to receive a catalogue in your mailbox. The catalogue presents more than 500 fully researched, hand-selected, family-centered books and items for children and adults, including complete reviews and interesting commentary. You might notice, in particular, the commentary in the catalogue. As a journalist in the Seattle Times noted, the catalogue is full of “descriptions of young children’s books, parenting tips, essays on their experiences as mothers and even a few comfort-food recipes.” In a recent E-mail, the staff at Chinaberry wrote about the early days of the catalogue. “When Chinaberry launched its first catalog almost (gasp!) 30 years ago, our message and values attracted a community of people who were decidedly noncomformist. From vegans to homeschoolers, homesteaders to tree-huggers, our customers back then didn’t exactly swim with the mainstream.”
Under the Chinaberry Tree founder Ann Ruethling explains that her original motivation for the catalogue was to give her child “wonderful, uplifting reading experiences that would color her whole life in a positive way and help her to grow into a caring, gentle person”.
If you are interested in children’s literature – or have a child in your life who is in need of an inspiring gift – check out Under the Chinaberry Tree. While you are reading the website, don’t miss the related Dear Friends and Musings pages, and their fabulous weblog for the Chinaberry community.
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