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Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains

by Mike Norris illustrated by Minnie Adkins

Availablecloth$19.95 978-0-8131-6614-8
48 pages  Pubdate: 02/05/2016  8 x 10  102 color photos, 1 b&w photo

Playing hopscotch in the schoolyard or hide-and-seek in the woods, Appalachian children once recited traditional nursery rhymes from memory. As kids do, they frequently altered the original rhymes, making them even more colorful in the process.

In Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains, author Mike Norris honors this special piece of American heritage with a one-of-a-kind collection of fifty original nursery rhymes celebrating Appalachian tradition and speech. Illustrated with art-quality photographs of more than one hundred new hand-carved and -painted works by renowned folk artist Minnie Adkins, this enchanting book introduces readers of all ages to the whimsical world of Mommy Goose and shares her love of the rare music of Appalachian speech and of words in general.

Mommy Goose is designed to engage young children with a series of simple and often humorous verses that gradually become more challenging as the book progresses. Readers can advance to longer, more complex rhymes as their skills develop—at home or with the guidance of teachers. Featuring sheet music for the original song “Tell me, Mommy Goose,” this multidimensional book is certain to entertain while introducing a new generation to hallowed folk traditions.

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.

Infectious and endlessly charming. . . When you combine Norris’ rhymes with Adkins’ carvings, the effect is nothing short of marvelous. -- Stan Campbell, Centre College

There is a great deal to delight in here. These rhymes manage to convey both the timeless charm of the old nursery rhymes, and the subtle humor and language of the Appalachian South. -- Anne Shelby, author of The Adventures of Molly Whuppie and Other Appalachian Folktales

What if that venerable Goose came to the mountains and wanted new rhymes and hand-carved characters to illustrate them? Why, she’d get Mike Norris and Minnie Adkins to make us this fine book! -- George Ella Lyon, Kentucky Poet Laureate and author of All the Water in the World

A delightful collaboration of two authentic Appalachian geniuses. Minnie Adkins' sprightly carvings are the perfect complement to Mike Norris's wry, artful, deceptively simple verses. This little book is a real charmer. -- Ed McClanahan

It seems destined to become a timeless classic with humor and charm galore, age
appropriate for everyone from toddlers up. Writer Mike Norris and carvings illustrator Minnie Adkins' work will appeal to anyone with a sense of whimsy as do the works of the ingenious Sandra Boynton. . . . The clever wordplay and bright illustrations are sheer delights. -- Midwest Book Review

Mommy Goose . . . is a truly unique patchworked word quilt of some 50 original nursery rhymes straight out of the mountains, all illustrated with art quality photographs of more than 100 new hand-carved and painted works by the one and only Minnie Adkins. -- Herald-Dispatch

Norris and Adkins’s creative presentation engages youth with Appalachian oral and visual traditions. Each Appalachian children’s rhyme in this collection has accompanying photographs of hand-carved figurines of the characters in that rhyme. Colorful, bright, and catchy, the rhymes progress through varying levels of difficulty for young readers. -- Appalachian Heritage

Preserving our language is a cause that is near and dear to my heart and I commend [the authors] for trying to keep our rich colorful Appalachian language alive. -- Blind Pig and the Acorn

Recognized for its distinctive storytelling tradition, Appalachia is home to generations of artists, musicians, and writers. Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains is a visual and rhythmic celebration of this distinct segment of American culture. -- Literary Features Syndicate

This is a remarkable, indeed, quite unique book. -- Appalachian Mountain Books

Norris crafts verses that reflect the unique traditions and language of the Appalachian South, and populates them with people and animals familiar to the mountain region.

This colorful and engaging book features fifty original rhymes by Norris as well as photographs of more than one hundred carved figures by renowned folk artist Minnie Adkins. The hand-carved and painted regional folk art enhances the rhymes, creating a charming world of mountain characters ready for adventure. -- The Southeastern Librarian

Norris presents nearly 50 charming nursery rhymes inspired by the culture, language, and traditions of Appalachia.…should have broad appeal [for] all ages. -- Publishers Weekly

Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains is an artistic treasure for both story and art. It’s a celebration of culture and tradition, written by Mike Norris and illustrated by acclaimed Kentucky folk artist Minnie Adkins. Children and adults will love the language of Norris’ original Appalachian nursery rhymes accompanied by photographs of more than 100 of Atkins’ new woodcarvings. -- COURIER-JOURNAL

Norris's rhymes exemplify the unique rhythm and cadence of Appalachian speech, and Adkins's three-dimensional sculptures bring the stories to life. -- Broadway Books World

Mommy Goose, illustrated with photographs of the charming carved images of folk artist Minnie Adkins, is a collection of 50 original nursery rhymes inspired by traditional rhymes recited and sung by children of Appalachia. Children will enjoy the humor of these silly verses about raccoons, Old Doc Hale, calico cats, and more; adults will appreciate Mommy Goose as an important collection of regional oral folk traditions -- International Literacy Association