Miss Tami, Is Today Tomorrow? Kindergarten in Alaska — Stories for Grown-Ups by Tami Phelps
This heartwarming book maps the humor and curiosity of kids as they learn the meaning of words and the logic that underpins their experiences. In these vignettes for grown-ups, Tami Phelps, a Montessori teacher for 20 years, describes encounters with her students as they process the world around them. In their innocence, young children are at once naïve and brilliantly perceptive. They often miss the mark, which is precisely what makes these stories so hilarious. And it’s not often students stay in touch with their kindergarten teachers, but the author’s former student illustrated the book to boot! These stories will make you smile, and remember how the best teachers can make a lasting mark on the rest of your life.
—Monica Devine, author of Water Mask
Our daughter was a Montessori kid through and through. Her journey began with Miss Tami and she loved it. When asked on the last day of her kindergarten year what she wished for, her answer: “another 100 days of school.” Montessori teachers are different and Ms. Tami is one of the best.
—Peter and Cindy Ljubicich, colleague and parents
"Dear Miss Tami,
Thank you for teaching me to think and read. I hope you never die.
(4th grade writing assignment to a former teacher)
Circles by Cirque Press
Announcing Circles, a new imprint of Cirque Press designed for illustrated books. Look to these engaging books for image and light, fun and fantasy, mystery and music. Circles focuses on the singing of the spheres, the clock of the seasons, the mirth of the hyena, and the renewal of legend and myth.
Cirque Press Author — Tami Phelps
Tami Phelps has lived in Alaska fifty years, teaching public Montessori education to children for twenty of those years. She is a graduate of University of Alaska Anchorage (B.Ed.), previously attending Arizona State University, and University of Hawaii Hilo (where she learned a lot and went to class on occasion). Her Montessori Teaching Certificates are from Montessori Education Center of the Rockies (Boulder, CO; 3-6 year olds), and Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, WA; 6-9 year olds). She now creatively pursues her second career as a visual artist with a primary focus on cold wax and oil painting. Tami is invited regularly as Artist-In-Residence at the McKinley Chalet Resort, Denali National Park, Alaska, where her demonstrations are inspired by her Montessori teaching background. Her art is included in international juried exhibitions and is included in permanent collections of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Alaska, and the Santa Fe Museum of Encaustic Art, NM
About the Illustrator — Tammy Murray
Tammy became interested in art at a young age, drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon. At age ten, Tammy sold her first piece, an oil pastel portrait inspired by the abstract style of Pablo Picasso. This achievement received an article in the Alaska Star, the Chugiak-Eagle River community newspaper. From Elementary School through Middle School, she would have work on display at the Anchorage Museum. During this time, she began to struggle with anxiety and depression. Unable to express herself verbally, Tammy discovered her love for illustration and story-telling; finding it easier to speak through art. Tammy manages her own business as an illustrator and art consignor while working on her ultimate goal of graphic novelist. Tammy hopes to create her own world within her art and writing in which others who are struggling with mental health issues can discover not just their voice, but their self.
About Kerry Dean Feldman
A writer and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Cirque Press published his collection of short stories, Drunk on Love: Twelve Stories to Savor Responsibly, (2019, cover art by Tami Phelps). Five Star/Gale-Cengage Press will publish his novel Alice’s Trading Post: A Novel of the West in January 2022. He is co-originator of the Alaska Anthropological Association (1974). His anthropological writings are published in US, Canadian, and U. K. books and journals.