Mary Reinhart, known to her grandchildren as “Kamama,” has the gift of seeing the wonderment of the world as experienced through the eyes of the young. Her first career in teaching allowed her to celebrate life’s curiosity along with her students. As a wife and mother, she explored more of the love and joys of daily living. Widowed at a young age, life’s journey led her into a second career as a facilitator of alternative healing and wellness practices. Through years of embracing the opportunity to engage in storytelling with her eleven grandchildren, Mary became inspired to put on paper the compassion, joy, and love that she and her grandchildren share. She came to know that what matters most in life is that we give the love that is innately present in all of us and opens our hearts to receive this wondrous gift of love from others. Mary lives in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. Her two youngest grandchildren are the inspiration for The Magical Love Box.
Why do Mary’s grandchildren call her “Kamama”?
While working at a wellness center in 2000, Mary asked her friend, Arrowhawk, a Cherokee Native American, the name for “grandma” in his native tongue. It is “tsala-gi.” A beautiful word, but it wasn’t easy to say. So she checked out other words in the Cherokee language, starting with the letter A. When she got to the word “kamama,” she liked its sound. The meaning? Butterfly! Perfect! Mary has loved butterflies ever since she was a little girl.
Mary is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).