Children's books play a critical role in building a child's worldview, introducing new vocabulary, and imparting moral lessons in a young reader's own context. Yet there is a serious need for a perspective more attuned to the cultural and verbal complexities of Appalachia. Mommy Goose's Appalachian Melodies bridges the gap in children's literature and offers readers an opportunity to delight in language and the richness of music and storytelling in the region.
Each lyrical poem and nursery rhyme, in tandem with whimsical and vibrant wood carvings, taps into the world of natural wonder and homespun charm. Revealed is a world populated with people, farm animals, and wildlife that is equally familiar and fantastic to Appalachian children. The quaint and heartwarming poems offer lessons of kindness, acceptance, and respect, while not shying away from poignant glimpses of life's harsh realities. This colorful collection celebrates the art, language, and culture of Appalachia and creates a unique and magical world—for children of all ages.
About the Author Ingredients Sally Ann's Reply The Goat The Question The Tools We Have The Parting Hoop and Shelf Remedy To Lay or Lie When Tommy Stole Cookies Ned at the Dance What Can...? Sleeping Mistakes Waltzing with Elephant Verse and Chorus What Blind Sam Saw EXTRA EGGS The Scribbler Brother Boyd Habits Where Animals Rule There Was a Large Man Us and Them Guard at the Gate Late and Early The Directions The Old Woman Run, Fox, Run Methuselah Thacker Smart People The Moon-Eyed Man Today Doc Hale Granpaw's Nerve Pill GOOSE TALES Roadside Zoo Rabbit and Hound Soup Bean Soup The Duck's Predicament The Cardinal and the Jay Quick, Slow, and Sly The Clock that Tocked Always Remember Between the Banks "Waltzing with Elephant," words and music by Mike Norris About the author and illustrator
Mike Norris is the author of four additional children's books: Bright Blue Rooster, Sonny the Monkey, Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains, and Ring Around the Moon: Mommy Goose Rhymes. Also a songwriter, one of his compositions, recorded by Jeff Parker and Company, reached #1 on the Bluegrass Today charts in 2023. Minnie Adkins is a folk artist with permanent collections at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the American Folk Art Museum, Huntington Museum of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center. She received the Artist Award from the Kentucky Arts Council for lifetime achievement in the arts and holds an honorary doctorate from Morehead State University. She has collaborated with Mike Norris on four previous books: Bright Blue Rooster, Sonny the Monkey, Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains, and Ring Around the Moon: Mommy Goose Rhymes.
I opened Mommy Goose's Appalachian Melodies out of curiosity intending to browse and ended up reading every word, appreciating every picture. This is a book full of fine storytelling, colorful characters, lively word play, good sense, and pure fun. The book takes the reader on a delightful journey, all accompanied by Minnie Adkins' whimsical, colorful carvings. Appalachian Melodies is an American and Appalachian original.
~Gurney Norman, author of Kinfolks, Allegiance, Divine Rights Trip, Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame member
Appalachian Melodies is the latest of several collaborations Mike and Minnie have done. Rather than being a mere 'addition' to the series, this work expands and deepens the reach of previous efforts, making the case—without preaching—that all life is local, if it is to be richly lived. We belong to each other—there's no 'us' and 'them.' Here is a lovely and enchanting book that children and parents will want in their homes, their schools, and their local libraries.
~Maurice Manning, author of Snakedoctor (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry)
Norris's words are as satisfying, salty, and sweet as that kettle corn we got at the craft fair last October, and Adkins's carvings charm the bark off the tree. Appalachian Melodies is homegrown enchantment. Run buy it. It drips with delight.
~Robert Gipe, author of Pop: An Illustrated Novel andwinner of the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Fiction
Appalachian Melodies sings! Minnie Adkins's carvings dance! Another gem in the series—keep 'em coming!
~T. Crunk, poet and children's book author and winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize for Living in the Resurrection
Bright, original, alive/a book in which to dive - Appalachian Melodies delights/children and adults alike.
~Katerina Stoykova, author of Between a Bird Cage and a Bird House
Rhyme has long been out of fashion in both poetry and children's books. And wood carving, a traditional art form, is no longer widely practiced. Fortunately for us, both Norris and Adkins have had the courage to follow their own instincts and talents, and to stay at their art and craft over the long haul. The work of these two mature and practiced Kentucky artists culminates beautifully in Appalachian Melodies. Readers and listeners of all ages will find so much to delight in here, they may not even notice how much they are learning about language and about life.
~Anne Shelby, author of The Adventures of Molly Whuppie and Other Appalachian Folktales
Mommy Goose's Appalachian Melodies is a children's book and an adult's book simultaneously. It's part story, part poetry, steeped in whimsy and imagination while sticking to the realities, the humor, the richness of Appalachian life. We relish, we celebrate, another combination of art and language that will delight readers of all ages. I just love it! The mixture of Mike's voice and Minnie's art is pure magic. They've done it again!
~Crystal Wilkinson, former Kentucky Poet Laureate and author of Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts