Miles the Adventurous Cat- Guest Post by Valerie Woebkenberg

Miles, the Adventurous Cat – Guest Post by Valerie Woebkenberg

fluffy tuxedo cat, pixabay

Miles, a fluffy tuxedo cat, joined our family one November, around the same time as the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth almost 400 years earlier. We named him Miles in honor of Myles Standish who traveled with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower in 1620. Miles likes to explore our backyard and engages in what we call a friendly game of tag with the visiting chipmunks and squirrels. My family and I imagined Miles thinking of himself on a grand adventure, so we took him on one!

I think it is so important for children to learn about important events in American history and what better place for a cat named Myles Standish to begin than with the Pilgrims. Miles first hiked to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in Miles on the Mayflower to find his family and ended up learning about the faith and courage of the men, women, and children who sailed across the ocean in 1620. It seemed natural for him to travel down the road to Boston. Miles hiked the Freedom Trail and met actors who speak of life in the colonies. I thought readers might enjoy learning about the tea party, which wasn’t a party at all!

I am currently researching three historical events, which might be great adventures for Miles. The Battle of Ft. McHenry, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star Spangled Banner” is reenacted each year and I think Miles might just be able to play a part. Miles is ready to fly along with Orville and Wilbur Wright on an adventure that will include bicycles, gliders, and maybe a trip to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The third event I am planning to include in the Miles Across America series is the story of the Apollo astronauts, especially those who flew the later missions. Miles won’t be blasting off to the moon, but he might be exploring the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., or heading to space camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

Watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon is my favorite event in American history. Every July 29, I look up at the moon and wonder at the courage of those men.  I would like to encourage young readers to learn more about all of the brave Americans who traveled to the moon as well as the scientific work they did when there.

I enjoyed a full-time career as an elementary teacher helping young students to love reading and learning. My expertise is in early literacy, so it seemed natural to write for young readers. One of the best perks of being a writer of children’s books is sharing them with students at schools.  They are interested in the historical events as well as the process of writing, research, illustrating, and publishing. And, of course, they always want to know what Miles is doing and where he will be heading next. Miles will be logging lots of miles if he heads to all of the places they have suggested!

Valerie Woebkenberg

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