Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Today would have been the 113th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by the name of Dr. Seuss. Author of beloved stories such as The Cat in the Hat and Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss inspired generations of readers and dreamers with his whimsical drawings and his stories which, while silly and humorous, are often inspiring. Today, we celebrate his life through Read Across America, a national celebration of reading that takes place in schools and libraries all across the US.

To celebrate this day of reading and rhymes, we’re sharing some Appalachian nursery rhymes from Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains. This collection by author Mike Norris honors the language and traditional nursery rhymes of Appalachia alongside art-quality photographs of more than one hundred new hand-carved and -painted works by renowned folk artist Minnie Adkins. This charming book engages young children with a series of simple and often humorous verses that gradually become more challenging as the book progresses.

About MOMMY GOOSE02a-theaboutmg_0298-copy

Mommy Goose is an Appalachian bird.

Like cows love corn, she loves words.

She says,

“Corn can be yellow, blue, or white,

And words change colors in different light.

To talk like your flock is no disgrace.

Just use the right word in the right place.”




Level Cows

Granpaw’s farm is hilly land,

With no smooth place

for the cows to stand;

But they stay level

as a croquet court,

Two legs long, and

two legs short.


Little Johnny Hicks

Little Johnny Hicks

was mighty sick.

The doctor thought him dead.

But Granmaw’s cooking

did the trick:

Soup beans and corn bread.




Mike Norris was the director of communications at Centre College for sixteen years before he retired. He is the author of Sonny the Monkey and Bright Blue Rooster: Down on the Farm and has recorded several collections of original music.

Minnie Adkins is a folk artist with permanent collections at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Gallery of Art, the American Folk Art Museum, the Huntington Museum of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center. She won the the Kentucky Arts Council’s Artist Award honoring lifetime achievement in the arts and holds an honorary doctorate from Morehead State University. She has contributed essays to numerous collections on folk art and crafts.

Purchase book here.


This entry was posted in Daily Notes on by .

About University Press of Kentucky

The University Press of Kentucky has a dual mission—the publication of books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields for a largely academic audience and the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. The Press is the statewide mandated nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, operated as an agency of the University of Kentucky and serving all state institutions of higher learning, plus five private colleges and Kentucky's two major historical societies.

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