Tag Archives: children’s book

A Look at the Kentucky Book Fair on November 17

KBF_2018_UPK_ProgramAd.jpgNow in its thirty-seventh year, the Kentucky Book Fair is expanding to become the signature piece of a larger event, the Kentucky Book Festival. Organized by Kentucky Humanities, the Kentucky Book Festival will span from November 12 to 17 and involve six days full of literary events around Lexington, culminating in Kentucky Book Fair on November 17 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The fair will feature more than 180 authors, including over twenty-five who have been published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK):



In addition to authors who will be signing their books on the main arena floor on November 17, the Kentucky Book Fair will host a series of panel discussions and presentations for authors and readers alike on the main stage and in breakout rooms that day. Several panels include UPK authors eager to share their work:

The Kentucky Book Festival will be holding a series of events throughout the week at several different locations around Lexington. The events include readings, cocktail parties, trivia, and more:

  • Monday, November 12, 6:30 to 8:00 pm—The Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning will host “New Kentucky Poetry & Prose” with readings by Willie Davis, UPK author Jeremy Paden, Robert Gipe, and Maureen Morehead. Free and open to the public; no tickets required.
  • Tuesday, November 13, 12:00 to 2:00 pm—ArtsPlace will host “A Literary Luncheon with Silas House” featuring him reading from his new novel Southernmost. Tickets are required and available for $40 at kyhumanities.org; seating is limited.
  • Friday, November 16—Jonathan S. Cullick, author of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men: A Reader’s Companion, will teach a KBF Master Class on the basic rhetoric principles of persuasion and how to use them to more than 300 students. This event is for preregistered students and not open to the public.

Dedicated to honoring the profession of writing and to providing a format for authors to meet their reading public, the Kentucky Book Fair attracts thousands of avid readers and patrons nationwide. Featuring a broad range of titles including children’s books, military history, mystery, nature, fiction, and nonfiction, the fair attracts promotes reading across genres and age levels. Founded in 1981, the Kentucky Book Fair is the state’s leading literary event.

A full list of Kentucky Book Festival activities can be found on the Kentucky Humanities website.

“Tell Me, [about] Mommy Goose”

Raccoon_Car_WmkdThe 82-year-old renowned folk artist Minnie Adkins usually sits in her easy chair at her home in Elliott County and whittles. “Folk art is from the heart,” she recently told Rich Copley for The Lexington Herald-Leader. “Fine art is from the knowledge. Folk art you make from what you love and what you want to create.”

Mike Norris, former Communications director at Centre College, is a musician with a flair for rhymes.

Together they’ve created the charming new children’s book, Mommy Goose, featuring fifty original Appalachian rhymes by Norris and more than one hundred new hand-carved and -painted works by Adkins.

With colorful characters like the Speckled Hen, June Bug, and Clete, the Parakeet, the Song_Buttonnursery rhymes and carvings in Mommy Goose honor Appalachian tradition and speech. Accompanying the rhymes is a new original song and sheet music by Norris, “Tell Me, Mommy Goose.”


Mommy Goose_smallAbout MOMMY GOOSE

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.”

Read the feature on Adkins and Norris in the latest issue of Kentucky Monthly, or buy the book.

inthisissueMommy Goose final front coverREV.indd

No Batteries Required

Chances are, you’ve heard of slingshots and rag dolls. But what about Tom walkers? Corn husk dolls? Limberjacks? Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z explores these favorite Appalachian toys and more.

T is for Tom Walkers


Also called “stilts” and “walking crutches,” Tom walkers were fashioned from sturdy trees. Learning to use them took lots of practice!

C is for Corn Husk Doll


Corn husk dolls have been around for centuries. Also known as faceless dolls, this toy was introduced to frontier settlers by the Iroquois Indians. According to Iroquois legend, there was once a very beautiful but also very vain corn husk doll. Rather than to do her chores, she would go into the woods and gaze at her reflection in the river. The Great Spirit God was angry with her. He sent a messenger to warn her, but she didn’t listen and so he had no choice but to punish her. He took away her beautiful face. These dolls and this story reminded Appalachian children to avoid vanity.

L is for Limber Jack


Limber jacks, or “jig dolls” as they’re called in Europe, are traditional wooden toys for children (and adults too)! With loose limbs, these dolls dance a jig on the end of a platform in imitation of a real step dancer.

Remember to enter for your chance to win a copy of Linda Hager Pack’s new book, illustrated with these and more vibrant watercolors by Pat Banks.

What’s a whimmydiddle?

W is for Whimmydiddle


The whimmydiddle was an intriguing toy that boys fashioned using their trusted pocketknives and sticks gathered from the forest. This toy was known by several different names. It was called a hoodoo stick by the Cherokee, a ziggerboo by some in Tennessee, a geehaw in Georgia, and a lie detector in Ohio. The toy consisted of two parts: a notched stick with a spinner or whirligig on the end and a smaller rubbing stick. The trick to playing with a whimmydiddle was knowing how to make the toy respond to the verbal commands of “gee” and “haw.” When the operator of the toy said “gee,” the toy would spin to the right. When he said “haw,” the toy would spin to the left. How did he do it? The trick is in the placement of the fingers on the notched stick.

Outdoor Games

The sun shines bright in the Bluegrass state today, and spring is right around the corner! Take a peak inside this week’s giveaway book for games to play outside.

J is for Jumping Rope


Jumping rope was a favorite pastime in the mountains. All that was needed was something to use as a rope and several good jumping rhymes set to memory. Rope wasn’t always available, so Appalachia’s children made do with honeysuckle vine, plough lines, or a string of rags tied together.

M is for Marbles


Marbles, sometimes known as marvils, was played in schoolyards, barnyards, and favorite dirt spots on the way home from school.

V is for Vaulting


Trees provided lots of fun in the Appalachian Mountains. Vaulting involved climbing up to the very top of a tall tree, crawling out to the end of a small, bendy branch, and then riding it to the top of another tree. And hanging on for dear life!

These stunning images, illustrated by Pat Banks, capture the beauty of Appalachia and the children who made it their playground. Enter for your chance to win a copy of Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z!

G is for Giveaway!

It’s raining cats and dogs in Kentucky, but we’re still finding plenty of ways to have fun with this week’s giveaway! Rain or shine, this book is sure to entertain readers of all ages! Enter to win a copy of Linda Hager Pack’s Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z. Sign up by Friday, March 22 at 1 pm for your chance to win.


Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z celebrates a time when fun was powered by imagination and creativity rather than batteries and electricity. Join Appalachia’s children for a rare glimpse into their lives of play during the mid to late 1800s. Children will be inspired by a world of interesting nineteenth-century activities and toys while they learn about Appalachian heritage through the ABCs. Author Linda Hager Pack interweaves detailed descriptions of these pastimes with anecdotes, songs, and folktales. Pat Banks brings playtime to life with vibrant watercolors that delight with every turn of the page.

This book will inform and inspire young readers and will remind adults of simpler times when they played outside with siblings and friends, making their own fun. Enter to win a copy, and share the fun of discovering the region’s rich traditions and culture.