Realistic Appalachian Picture Books

By Judy A. Teaford and Tina L. Hanlon


Realistic Appalachian Picture Books by Author

A-B | CD-F | G | H | IJ | K | L | M-O | P-Q | R | S-T | U-Z

AND Fantasy and Concept Books that Contain Realism

Appalachian Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (on a separate page)

Folktale Picture Book Bibliography (on a separate page)

Related AppLit Resources: 

Index of AppLit Pages by Genre: Fiction
Index of AppLit Pages by Genre: Folklore
Index of AppLit Pages by Genre: Picture Books

Index of AppLit Pages by Genre: Poetry

Picture Books with Cherokee Themes



Allen, Nancy Kelly. The Munched-Up Flower Garden. Illus. K. M. Crawford. Red Rock Press, 2006. "Liz works hard on her flower garden, hoping to win a blue ribbon at the annual Troublesome Creek picnic, but she wakes up on the morning of the picnic to find that her flowers have been eaten by a goat." Troublesome Creek is in eastern Kentucky.

Allen, Nancy Kelly. Trouble in Troublesome Creek. Illus. K. M. Crawford. Red Rock Press, 2010. "This book is a sequel to The Munched-Up Flower Garden. The Troublesome Creek kids find strange looking rocks as they explore a cave. The rocks are Minnie balls, old bullets left by soldiers from the Civil War, over 150 years ago. Water from the cave drips onto the bullets and the lead-poisoned water is killing the fish in Troublesome Creek."

Appelt, Kathi. The Best Kind of Gift. Illus. Paul Brett Johnson. HarperCollins, 2003. See page on this book in Appelt's web site. A humorous story about a boy wanting to give a gift to the new parson. "The soft, acrylic illustrations expressively portray Jory and his family as they choose their gifts and give advice to Jory" (Jennifer Smith, "The Music of Appalachian Children's Literature." Ride of Molly Tynes coverChildren and Libraries, vol. 5, Winter 2007, p. 36).

Balderose, Nancy Ward. Once Upon A Christmas Pony: A Mountain Christmas. Illus. Nancy Ward Balderose. Morehouse Publishing, 1992. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary.

Barksdale, Mary A., and Donna J. Fogelsong. The Ride of Molly Tynes: A Tale Passed Down. Illus. Emily H. Pritchett. Belle Isle Books, 2019. 49 pp. "Momma tells her granddaughter of their twenty-six-year-old relative, Molly Tynes, who took a perilous ride through the Appalachian Mountains in 1863 to warn residents of nearby Wytheville, Virginia, that Union soldiers would soon attack." The soldiers hope to end the war by stopping the railroad at Wytheville. Because all the young men are away in the Southern army and her mother is ill, Molly is the only one near her home who can ride to Wytheville, crossing four mountains on a "rough trail." Refusing to stop for rest, Molly encounters a bear in the dark and then sings "Skip to My Lou" to get through the night. Her warning enables citizens to fire on invading Union soldiers from their homes, so the soldiers retreat. The narrator is the granddaughter reminiscing about this storytelling evening with her grandmother and discussing oral history with her. She notices a similarity with the ride of Paul Revere. An authors' note at the beginning and the back matter stress that the book is focused not on supporting the Confederate cause, but on the courage of a woman protecting her community, as women have often done historically with little recognition. A map illustration shows the route from Tazewell to Wytheville. The back matter also includes background on real people in the story, the history of "Skip to My Lou" with a copy of the song, and commemorations of Molly's ride up to the present. Most double-page spreads have pages of text facing lush borderless realistic illustrations. Barksdale is a native of Virginia whose grandmother told her this story often.

Bates, Artie Ann. Ragsale. Illus. Jeff Chapman-Crane. Houghton Mifflin, 1995. "Jessann and her family spend Saturday going to the ragsales of their Appalachian town."El Deafo cover by Bell

Bell, Cece. El Deafo! Amulet Books/Abrams, 2014. Not a picture book but a graphic memoir by a SW Virginia author. A 2015 Newbery Honor book. Using rabbit figures as the characters, it tells of Bell's comical and heart-warming experiences when, after an early childhood illness, she and her teachers needed to use cumbersome equipment to help with her hearing disability. She imagined herself as a superhero because she had extraordinary hearing powers when using the equipment. Visuals in the graphic narrative, such as speech balloons, allowed Bell to convey her experiences with what she could and couldn't hear in innovative ways. The publisher web site contains a teaching guide and other background. NPR Interview, Dec. 2014. See also NY Times review Aug. 22, 2014, YouTube video of Bell discussing her book, and Guardian article on making of the book.

Belton, Sandra. From Miss Idaís Porch. Illus. Floyd Cooper. Four Winds, 1993. Belton's book re-examines the past, revealing truths not limited to the Appalachian regionóa past life where African Americans are not allowed to sleep in motels, where Duke Ellington and Marian Anderson are not allowed to sing in certain places. On the porch the community comes together to reminisce and to share their history.

Belton, Sandra. May'naise Sandwiches & Sunshine Tea. Illus. Gail Gordon Carter. Four Winds Press, 1994. "Big Mama reminisces with her grandchild about a childhood experience that helped inspire her to be the first member of her family to attend college." 

Berry, Wendell. Whitefoot: A Story from the Center of the World. Illus. David Te Selle. Counterpoint, 2009. Detailed description of the life of a white-footed mouse, peromyscus leucopus, asking the reader to consider her point of view and feeling that she lives at the center of the world. She floats along for days in a flood and has to wait until it is safe to build a new home in the woods. Originally published as an article in Orion Magazine Jan.-Feb. 2007 (available online).

Birdseye, Tom. Airmail to the Moon. Illus. Stephen Gammell. Holiday House, 1988. "When the tooth that she was saving for the tooth fairy disappears, Ora Mae sets out to find the thief and send him "airmail to the moon!" See background and illustrations at Tom Birdseye: Children's Book Author.  

Birdseye, Tom, and Debbie Holsclaw Birdseye. She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain. Illus. Andrew Glass. Holiday House, 1994. "Family members compose verses to the folk song 'She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain' to describe an expected visitor. The Sweet clan anticipates the arrival of their friend Tootie." See background and illustrations at Tom Birdseye: Children's Book Author.
Junk Pile cover

Borton, Lady. Junk Pile. Illus. Kimberly Bulcken Root. Philomel, 1996. "Helping out in her father's auto junk yard has taught Jamie how to fix the schoolbus, but the other children's teasing still hurts until she learns how to fix a friendship as well."

Bradby, Marie. Momma, Where Are You From? Illus. Chris K. Soentpiet. Orchard Books, 2000. Momma tells her young daughter where she came from by recalling special moments from her past in rich detail. She tells of peddlers, segregated schools, listening to Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and close ties with neighbors and family.

Bradby, Marie. More Than Anything Else. Illus. Chris K. Soentpiet. Orchard Books, 1995. Powerful story about Booker T. Washington's childhood hunger for learning to read, in a time when it was forbidden for slaves to read. Booker is nine years old, working at the salt More Than Anything Else coverworks in WV after emancipation. (He was born in Franklin County, VA). The story ends when he begins to learn the alphabet. Additional information is available on Soenpiet's web site.

Brown, Elizabeth Ferguson. Coal Country Christmas. Illus. Harvey Stevenson. Boyds Mills Press, 2003. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary.

Buck, Pearl S. Christmas Day in the Morning. Illus. Mark Buehner. HarperCollins, 2002. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary.

Bulla, Clyde Robert. Danielís Duck. Illus. Joan Sandin. I Can Read Book. Scholastic, 2003. "A novice wood carver is momentarily defeated when people laugh at the result of a winter of work.... Daniel decides he hates the duck he has carved until the best wood-carver in Tennessee admires it."


Carroll, Ruth, and Latrobe Carroll. Tatum Family Series (see annotated bibliography in AppLit at this link)

Carson, Jo. Pulling My Leg. Illus. Julie Downing. Orchard Books, 1990. A comical story about a girl losing a tooth with help from a joking uncle.

Carson, Jo. You Hold Me and I'll Hold You. Illus. Annie Cannon. Orchard Books, 1992. A young girl tells how she and her father deal with the death of her great-aunt. There are few culturally specific details but Carson is an important Appalachian author from eastern Tennessee.

Cash, John Carter. Momma Loves Her Little Son. Illus. Marc Burckhardt. Little Simon Inspirations, 2009. "Grammy Award winning John Carter Cash creates a lyrical painting based on the intimate words his mother, June Carter Cash, shared with him as a child. Captured in the exquisite Americana art of illustrator Marc Burckhardt, an expression of love between mother and son comes to life in vibrant simplicity. From the farthest shores to the deepest oceans, a mother’s love for her child is without bounds. Little ones will be swept away on a magical adventure over mountains and skyscrapers and through forests and streams in this tender and joyful celebration of the enduring bond between mother and child."

Caudill, Rebecca. A Certain Small Shepherd. Illus. William Pene Du Bois. Henry Holt, 1965. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary.

Caudill, Rebecca. A Pocket Full of Cricket. Illus Evaline Ness. Holt Owlet, 1964. Rpt. New York: Henry Holt, 1992. A boy who prepares to begin school by stuffing his pockets full of things he finds attracts attention on the first day of school with a pet cricket in his pocket.

Caudill, Rebecca, and James Sterling Ayars. Contrary Jenkins. Illus. Glen Rounds. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969. 40 pp. Humorous stories like tall tales. "Relates the episodes in the life of Contrary Jenkins as he lived by the 'law of contrary' in Tennessee and Arkansas."

Cecka, Melanie and Jan Karon. Jan Karon Presents Cynthia Coppersmith's Violet Comes to Stay. Illus. Emily Arnold McCully. Viking Children's Books, 2006. "Violet, a little white cat, tries out several homes before she finds just the right one." Picture book related to Jan Karon's Mitford series of novels, set in the fictional town of Mitford, NC, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in which Cynthia Coppersmith is a character.

Cecka, Melanie and Jan Karon. Jan Karon Presents Cynthia Coppersmith's Violet Goes to the Country. Illus. Emily Arnold McCully. Viking, 2007. "During a trip to the country, curiosity and excitement get Violet, the little white cat, into all kinds of trouble, much to the dismay of Alice's uncle, who 'was never much of a cat person.'" Picture book related to Jan Karon's Mitford series of novels, set in the fictional town of Mitford, NC, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in which Cynthia Coppersmith is a character.

Chaffin, Lillie D. We Be Warm Till Springtime Comes. Illus. Lloyd Bloom. Macmillan, 1980. 32 pp. "Young Jimmy Jack Blackburn searches for fuel to keep his mother and baby sister warm through a severe Appalachian winter." See short review and cover at blog Granny Sue's News and Reviews by Susanna Holstein in WV.Moon Over Tennessee Cover with wood engraving

Crist-Evans, Craig. Moon Over Tennessee: A Boyís Civil War Journal. Illus. Bonnie Christensen. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. 60 pp. Publisher's description: "In the spring of 1863, a thirteen-year-old boy leaves his home in northeastern Tennessee with his father, who has joined the Confederate army. The boy rides with him to care for the horses and help with camp duties. A moving personal narrative in the form of a journal, this powerful poem tells of one boy's journey into war - and the horrible climax at Gettysburg that would forever change his life. Illustrated with striking black-and-white woodcuts, Moon Over Tennessee is a vivid, lyrical, and intensely human document of the terrible personal cost of the Civil War." The boy's best friend at home is the son of a freed slave. (Excerpts including critically acclaimed illustrations available at Google Books on 1/23/15). Crist-Evans was awarded the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award for this book.

Crum, Shutta. My Mountain Song. Illus. Ted Rand. Clarion, 2004. Kentuckian Brenda Gail learns that everyone has a song inside them. However, she has to decide if she wants to include her pesky cousin Melvin in her special song. Delightful and rich illustrations add to the lyrical text. See review in ALCA-Lines.

Cyr, Annette. Good News Bees and Tuliptrees. Sundance Pub., 1995. "Cut-paper collages and lyrical story explore the seasonal changes that occur in the Appalachian Mountains."


Ebel, Julia Taylor. The Picture Man. Illus. Idalia Canter. Boone, NC: Parkway, 2009. "An Appalachian farm girl and her brother have their pictures made by a traveling photographer in the 1940s. Includes facts about 'picture men,' early photography, and instructions for making a shoebox camera" (WorldCat). As noted in Appalachian Heritage, Summer 2009, it includes "actual pictures taken by pictureman W. R. Trivett, who served as a traveling photographer in Avery and Watauga Counties in North Carolina from 1907 to the early 1940s" (p. 96).

Erwin, Casey. Our Daddy Is a Coal Miner. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse, 2007. 15 pp. "Ethan and Ashton learn from their father what coal is used for, how it forms, and how important it is to West Virginia."

Fireside, Bryna J. Private Joel and the Sewell Mountain Seder. Illus. Shawn Costello. Kar-Ben Pub., 2008. 47 pp. Camped out in WV, "a group of Jewish soldiers, and three freed slaves, have a Passover seder in 1862 on the battlefields of the Civil War." Includes historical background. Private Joel's regiment from Ohio marched hundreds of miles through WV and spent the winter in Fayette keeping the railroad safe from Confederate soldiers in the Sewell Mountains. The author was inspired by an article by a rabbi and found the names of some of the Jewish soldiers through further research. The freed slaves in the story are fictional but based on research about former slaves joining many Union regiments. Google Preview provides a glimpse at a number of pages and illustrations.

Frazee, Marla. Hush, Little Baby: A Folk Song with Pictures. Illus. Marla Frazee. Harcourt, 1999. A traditional lullaby illustrated with images from the Appalachian Mountains. "A baby is promised an assortment of presents from its adoring parent."


Gibbons, Faye. The Day the Picture Man Came. Illus. Sherry Meidell. Boyds Mills Press, 2003. 32 pp. Humorous story about the day Emily Howard's parents try to get their big farm family to pose for a traveling photographer. Called "a rollicking, laugh-out-loud read" with "delightfully exaggerate[d]" watercolors by Publishers Weekly (2/15/03 review).

Gibbons, Faye. Emma Jo's Song. Illus. Sherry Meidell. Boyds Mills Press, 2001. 32 pp. "Emma Jo thinks she is the only nonmusical member of her very musical family, but when she goes to the Puckett family reunion she discovers her gift." The family's howling dog plays a role in Emma's story. Jennifer Smith's article "The Music of Appalachian Children's Literature" observes, "Soft illustrations join in the telling of Emma’s story. Everyone is coming for the family reunion, where . . . Rip the hound dog is banned . . . because every time Emma sings, he howls. Finally, it is Emma’s time to sing at the reunion, but she can’t do it until Rip happily joins in." (Smith in Children and Libraries, vol. 5, Winter 2007, pp. 35-6.)

Gibbons, Faye. Mama and Me and the Model T. Illus. Ted Rand. Morrow, 1999. "When Mama gets behind the wheel of the new Model-T which her husband just drove into the yard of their Georgia mountain home, she proves that she can drive a car as well as the men of the family."

Gibbons, Faye. Mountain Wedding. Illus. Ted Rand. Morrow, 1996. "The children from two mountain families about to be joined in a wedding change their minds about each other only after all of them together cooperate in a rescue."Knoxville TN cover

Giovanni, Nikki. Knoxville, Tennessee. Illus. Larry Johnson. Scholastic, 1994. Giovanni's poem about her childhood has been reprinted in many places, including this picture book with Johnson's rich double-spread oil paintings. "Describes the joys of summer spent with family in Knoxville: eating vegetables right from the garden, going to church picnics, and walking in the mountains."

Gorman, Nan Hagan. Appalachian Christmas: Stories & Illustrations. Hazard, KY: Ad East, 2004. 32 pp.

Gove, Doris. My Mother Talks to Trees. Illus. Marilynn H. Mallory. Peachtree Pub., 1999. "Although embarrassed when her mother stops and talks to all the trees on their walk, a girl joins her in admiring their leaves, flowers, needles, and seeds and recognizes them as a source of beauty" (WorldCat). A Tennessee author includes facts about 11 Southern trees.

Gove, Doris. One Rainy Night. Illus. Walter Krudop. Atheneum, 1994. "A boy and his mother go out on a rainy night to collect animals for a nature center that releases its specimens to the wild after two weeks" (WorldCat).

Gray, Libba Moore. When Uncle Took the Fiddle. Illus. Lloyd Bloom. Orchard Books, 1999. "Uncle's inspired playing of the fiddle causes sleepy family members to pick up other instruments and join him, while the neighbors come to join the celebration."

Griggs, Leland. Posted: No Trespassing. Illus. Russell Jewell. Meadow Spring Publishing, 2001. The author and illustrator are both Appalachian naturalists. Inspired by Thoreau, the book portrays the author's attempt to claim an abandoned farm that had been taken over by many kinds of wildlife. "Griggs... provides a clear message that humans, animals and nature can live in harmony if external forces do not disrupt its delicate and intricate balance.... As the illustration and text reveal, a hasty governmental act could cause this ecosystem to die." Quotation from review by Bea Bailey in ALCA-Lines: Journal of the Assembly on the Literature, vol. IX, 2001, pp. 16-17.


Harshman, MarcMountain Christmas. Illus. Cecy Rose. Charleston, WV: Quarrier Press, 2015. Verses on each page describe hints of Santa's sleigh bells heard in a variety of WV locations, depicted in soft acrylic paintings. "You do not have to be a West Virginian to enjoy this book, but natives will certainly recognize iconic scenes featuring such familiar sights as the State Capitol, Green Bank Observatory and Blackwater Falls," as well as a coal mine. "This book has been typeset in a font [OpenDyslexic] that may be friendlier to some dyslexic readers." Harshman reads several stanzas in an WV NPR interview on this book, Dec. 8, 2015. See also review by Bill Clements with photos in Charleston Gazette-Mail, Nov. 29, 2015.

Harshman, Marc. Moving Days. Illus. Wendy Popp. Holiday House, 1995. Harshmanís book is a well-written and beautifully illustrated picture book whose universal appeal will allow all children to identify.

Harshman, Marc. Only One. Illus. Barbara Garrison. Cobblehill Books, 1993. "At a county fair there are five hundred seeds in one pumpkin, ten cents in one dime, eight horses on one merry-go-round, four wheels on one wagon, and so on."

See Marc Harshman author page for more detailed information.

Harshman, Marc and Cheryl Ryan. Red Are the Apples. Illus. Wade Zahares. Gulliver Books, 2001. "Leads the reader through a bountiful garden in autumn while drawing particular attention to the variety of colors found within it."

Haynes, Mary. Pot Belly Tales. Illus. Michael J. Deraney. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1982. "Follows the up-and-down fortunes of an iron pot belly stove from its manufacture in 1888 through a century of changing fashions in heating."

Hedrick, Helen Groves. Baas on the Bus. Pittsburgh: Dorrance, 2000. In West Virginia, "a ferocious winter storm forces the shepherd and his kindly wife to round up Annie, Bo Peep, Grace, Matilda, and their newborn lambs, and keep them safe, warm, and dry inside a temporary shelter—an old school bus."

Hedrick, Helen G. Life and Times of Ole Roan. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 2008. 38 pp. "Recounts the story of four children, their life in 1920s rural West Virginia, and their relationship to their beloved milk cow, Ole Roan."

Hedrick, Helen. Rattlesnake Riddle. Illus. Sara Miller. Petersburg, WV: McClain Printing, 2002. 48 pp. "On the high plateau of the Allegheny Highlands in West Virginia lies a picturesque scenic spot called Dolly Sods. Historical importance and natural beauty are presented in this third book for children by Helen Hedrick. In their childhood, Boo and Eze found a breathtaking patch of spring wildflowers beneath a hemlock tree. To their surprise, a timber rattler nearby was enjoying the warmth of a bright spring day. While it lay very still on a big rock, the girls silently slipped away from the poisonous snake. Years later, Miss Eze became a teacher and inspired many children to look, listen and learn about all living things. The book presents adventurous danger in a unique manner that you will remember for a long time. The secretive riddle is revealed as you explore the story" (publisher description).

Hedrick, Helen G. Sis and the Singing Hens. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 2001. 32 pp. "A children’s heartwarming tribute to Appalachian culture in the mountains" (publisher's description).

Hedrick, Helen G. Tails, Trails, & Pies: An Appalachian Cattle Drive. Illus. Sue A. M. Spiker. Terra Alta, WV: Headline Books, 2009. "Dodd and Charley drive Mr. Jeff's cattle from his farm in Grant County over the mountain to summer pasture in Randolph County . . . Petersburg, WV to the Sinks of Gandy."

Hendershot, Judith. In Coal Country. Illus. Thomas B. Allen. Dragon Fly Books, 1987. Like Smuckerís No Star Nights, In Coal Country also reveals pollution, that of mining and railroading. Honest text and realistic illustrations present a genuine picture of Willow Grove. Like the children playing on the slag hill in Smuckerís book, the children in this book play on gob piles, oblivious to the danger they may encounter. Here again, hard work is a real part of Appalachian life, and family harmony is part of what makes this tough life worthwhile. Hendershot, who grew up as a miner's daughter in Neffs, Ohio (near Wheeling, WV, and "just down the road from the Willow Grove coal mine"), wrote, "In Coal Country is an honest recollection of a very happy time in my life. It was easy to write about.... [O]ur parents.... were deeply interested in the world outside our hills and recounted world and local events to us often. It was the keeping of those stories from my childhood that allowed me to see the significance of life in a coal mining town as I grew older.... As a child, I used to dream about life outside of coal country. Now that I no longer live there, I dream about being back" (Sixth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators, 1989, pp. 122-23).

Henson, Heather. Angel Coming. Illus. Susan Gaber. Atheneum, 2005. Publisher description: "High in the hills of Kentucky, a little girl eagerly awaits the arrival of a very special visitoróan 'angel' who, she is told, will come riding up the mountain on horseback, carrying a baby sister or brother in her saddlebag.... This gem of a story highlights a little-known piece of American history: the Frontier Nursing Service, a pioneering group of women who came to be called 'angels on horseback.'" An author's note describes Mary Breckinridge and the Frontier Nursing Service in the early 20th century. The girl's first-person verse narrative includes details of mountain life and customs surrounding the birth of a child.

Henson, Heather. That Book Woman. Illus. David Small. Atheneum, 2008. Text in verse is narrated by a farm boy living high up in the mountains far away from schools. Cal is not a scholar but his sister Lark, "the readenest child / you ever did see," who likes to play Teacher, views books as golden treasures. Cal's admiration for the book woman's selfless bravery and the confinement of a harsh winter lead him to reading under Lark's gentle instruction. The book woman, who arrives on horseback in all kinds of weather to loan books, will not accept payment except for the gift of a recipe and the pleasure of hearing Cal read. Illustrations in soft colors are in ink, watercolor, and pastel chalk, including sunset scenes of children reading on their mountain porch. The Author's Note gives background and references on the book women of the Pack Horse Library Project in eastern Kentucky, founded in the 1930s by the WPA. (See photos at New Deal Network Photo Gallery and book by Appelt in AppLit bibliography Appalachian Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults.)

Hiser, Berniece T. The Adventure of Charlie and His Wheat-Straw Hat: A Memorat. Illus. Mary Szilagyi. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1986. During the hard times of the Civil War, when seven-year-old Charlie of Frozen Creek, KY needs a straw hat for his first day of school and his Granny makes him one, his attempt to save his hat from rebel soldiers and hungry sheep result in his reward for saving a neighbor's cattle. Miriam Bein's review praises Hiser's use of dialect and Szilagyi's illustrations (in Now and Then, vol. 4.1, Spring 1987, p. 32).

Hitchcock, Shannon. Saving Granddaddy's Stories: Ray Hicks, the Voice of Appalachia. Illus. Sophie Page. Reycraft Books, 2020. Biographical fiction about Ray Hicks of Beech Mountain, NC, the most famous Appalachian storyteller of the twentieth century. "As a young boy living in the Appalachian Mountains, Ray Hicks loved his grandfather's stories because he told them the mountain way. After his grandfather's death, Ray continued to tell these stories to anyone who would listen. Years later, his storytelling became so famous he was known as the Voice of Appalachia."

Hodson, Debbie. A Mountain Rainbow. Illus. Miriam Moyer. Emmalena, KY: IvyStone Press, 2004. 30 pp. Five chapters with soft, rainbow-colored illustrations and borders throughout. The author and artist are both from southeastern KY. Nellie loves her mountain home in the 1930s but her family decides to move north so her father can work in a factory instead of the mines. There is a touch of magic when Nellie catches a miniature rainbow in her hand and puts it in her heart. She adjusts to city life and visits her grandparents in the summer. When her own children are grown, Nellie convinces her husband to move to the mountains.

Horstman, Lisa. Smoky Mountain Wee Ones. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountains Assoc., 2003. A board book comparing games of human babies with similar activities of Smoky Mountain wildlife babies.

Horstman, Lisa. The Troublesome Cub in the Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association, 2001. For details, see AppLit bibliography Nature and the Environment in Appalachian Literature.

Houston, Gloria. But No Candy. Illus. Lloyd Bloom. New York: Philomel Books, 1992. A girl starting first grade lives above her father's general store and writes to her uncle in World War II, when there is no more candy for the store. Her father trades with a gypsy to give his wife candy for Valentine's Day. When the war is over and Uncle Ted returns with chocolate to share, Lee, the girl, realizes she is growing up, life changes, and now she places less importance on candy.Exhibit Reading Appalachia bookmobile

Houston, Gloria. Littlejim's Gift: An Appalachian Christmas Story. Illus. Thomas B. Allen. New York: Philomel Books, 1994. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary.

Houston, Gloria. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile. Illus. Susan Condie Lamb. Harper, 2011. "Dorothy has always wanted to work in a library like the red brick one of her girlhood, but after moving to rural North Carolina she discovers that the type of library is less important than the books and the people who read them. But her new home in North Carolina has valleys and streams but no libraries, so Miss Dorothy and her neighbors decide to start a bookmobile. Instead of people coming to a fine brick library, Miss Dorothy can now bring the books to them—at school, on the farm, even once in the middle of a river!.... an inspiring story about the love of books, the power of perseverance, and how a librarian can change people's lives." Photo at right (by Tina L. Hanlon) from museum exhibit Teaching Appalachia, Knoxville, 2014.
My Great Aunt Arizona cover
Houston, Gloria. My Great-Aunt Arizona. Illus Susan Condie Lamb. HarperCollins, 1992. 
Rather than the stereotypical picture of uneducated, ignorant Appalachians, Houstonís book offers a more valid picture of real teachers and one-room schools in the Appalachian region. This is a moving story of a lively, loving woman (Houston's real great-aunt) who dedicated her life to teaching, showing the scope of her life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC from childhood through 57 years of teaching and old age. She did her duty to her family as well as pursuing her own dream of going off to school and becoming a teacher. Jennifer Smith's article "The Music of Appalachian Children's Literature" discusses the play rhyme “William Matrimmatoe” in this book and Rebecca Caudill's Tree of Freedom. (Smith in Children and Libraries, vol. 5, Winter 2007, p. 33.) See more details in HarperCollins web pages on the book, author, and illustrator; Review at Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site; and Lesson plan by Nancy Polette, 1999, in Nancy Polette's Children's Literature Site.

Houston, Gloria. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. Illus. Barbara Cooney. Dial Books, 1988. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary. Jennifer Smith's article "The Music of Appalachian Children's Literature" discusses a type of traditional carol that includes “Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head” and notes that it appears in this World War I story. (Smith in Children and Libraries, vol. 5, Winter 2007, p. 32.)

Howard, Elizabeth Fitzgerald. Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys. Illus. E. B. Lewis. Simon & Schuster, 2000. "In the post-Civil War South, a young African American girl is determined to prove that she can go to school just like her older brothers. Virgie, youngest in a family of boys, vows that she will accompany her brothers when they walk the seven miles to school every Monday morning. All Virgie wants is to go to school with her brothers George, Will, Nelson, Val, and C. C. But they keep saying she's too little for the long, seven-mile walk, and that girls don't need school. Well, Virgie doesn't agree, and she's not gonna let anything stand in her way." Howard wrote this story about her grandfather's family and the stories his brother Will told to younger generations. A photograph of the real brothers is included in the book with background notes. Howard visited Jonesborough, TN to learn about the Quaker school called the Warner Institute, which enabled Virgie and others to pursue education, "learning to be free."


Isaacs, John. A Doggone Good Story. Illus. Jey Manokaran. Lawrenceburg, KY: J. Isaacs, 2006. A story about dogs set in the 1950s.


Johnson, Paul BrettFarmers' MarketOrchard Books, 1997. Set in Lexington, KY, where a child accompanies her farm family to an open-air market. Other books by Johnson, an important Kentucky author/illustrator, include one written by Appelt, above, and others in the Folktale Picture Book Bibliography and Introduction to An Appalachian Mother Goose.

Johnston, Tony. Amber on the Mountain. Illus. Robert Duncan. Puffin Books, 1994. "Isolated on her mountain, Amber meets and befriends a girl from the city who gives her the determination to learn to read and write." Some reviewers express confusion about whether the book looks Appalachian or modern, or not.

Justus, May. Barney, Bring Your Banjo. Illus. Jean Tamburine. Henry Holt, 1959.

Justus, May. Sammy. Illus. Christine Chisholm. Albert Whitman, 1946.

Justus, May. Susie. Illus. Christine Chisholm. Albert Whitman, 1947.

See Books by May Justus for more comprehensive annotated list of author's work and links to other resources.


Kemp, Steve. We're Going to the Mountains. Illus. Lisa Horstman. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountains Assoc., 2008. The text for early readers and bright borderless illustrations emphasize a variety of sensory experiences associated with visiting mountains as a family: sight, hearing, smelling, motion, thinking, feeling, and sleeping outdoors.

Kemp, Steve. Who Pooped in the Park?: The Great Smoky Mountains! Illus. Robert Rath. Helena, MT: Farcountry Press, 2005. "The latest in this unconventional series of storybooks makes learning about wildlife tracks and scat (poop) fun. Perfect for youths ages 7-11, this book follows a family of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains as they join a park ranger for a wildlife walk. Learn the clues for 'seeing' deer, bear, rabbit, wild hog, wild turkey, coyote, skunk, and more. 48 pages. Full color."

Kirby, Ellie. The Legend of Caty Sage. "On July 5, 1792, a five-year-old child named Caty Sage disappeared from a farm in Grayson County, Virginia. In 1848 her brother Charles found a white woman living with an Indian tribe in Kansas and became convinced that she was Caty. Since then her story has been told and retold until it has become a beloved legend in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. For a more detailed account of the Caty Sage story, I recommend Bill Bland's book, Yourowquains, a Wyandot Indian Queen" (author's note).

Kirby, Ellie. Under the Snowball Tree. Troutdale, VA: Fox Creek Press, 1986. "Depicts the gentle activities of the occupants of a farmhouse under a snowball tree." The author's web site says, "Her work is inspired by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains."

Kerns, Thelma. You Don't Pat a Bee. Illus. Bryant Owens. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 2000. Advice for children based on sayings of children in the author's life. See picture and short description at Overmountain web site.

Kurtz, Shirley. Applesauce. Illus. Cheryl Benner. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1992. "A family works together to make enough applesauce to last through the coming winter. Includes directions for canning applesauce." By a resident of WV.

Kurtz, Shirley. Birthday Chickens. Illus. Cheryl A. Benner. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1994. "A boy's birthday brings him a host of chickens, whose care consumes his attention and eventually that of the entire family."

Kurtz, Shirley. The Boy and the Quilt. Illus. Cheryl A. Benner. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1991. "With a little help from his mother and sister, a young boy makes a quilt of his own. Includes instructions for making a quilt and a comforter." By a WV writer.


LaFaye, A. Walking Home to Rosie Lee. Illus. Keith D. Shepherd. Cinco Puntos Press, 2011. LaFaye's poetic text contributes to filling the gap in picture books about post-Civil-War history. Walking Home to Rosie Lee CoverYoung Gabe, like many children and adults in his situation after the Civil War, tells of his long walk into Appalachian Tennessee in search of his mother Rosie Lee, who wears a scarf because her neck was injured when she was punished for trying to escape. He meets a variety of people along the way who help and advise him. In a 2011 interview about this book with Cynthia Leitich Smith in her Cynsations site, LaFaye discusses the lack of children's books about the reunification of African American families during Reconstruction, this book's origins in research she did for her novel Stella Stands Alone (set in Mississippi), and her editor Lee Byrd of Cinco Puntos Press.

Lambert, Paulette Livers. Evening: An Appalachian Lullaby. Illus. Paulette Lambert. Rinehart, 1995. Two young boys are lulled to sleep by the sounds of the Appalachian night and their father's fiddling. This story is based on a traditional Kentucky lullaby persuading children to come in from the wilderness. The father and sons are depicted in borderless paintings. The musical score is provided at the end. The author/illustrator grew up in a large Kentucky musical family. Jennifer Smith's article "The Music of Appalachian Children's Literature" observes, "Rich, colorful illustrations reflect the words of the lullaby while depicting a secondary story of a father and his young sons playing a game of hide and seek as the boys attempt to avoid bedtime." (Smith in Children and Libraries, vol. 5, Winter 2007, p. 35.)

Laminack, Lester L. Saturdays and Teacakes. Illus Chris Soentpiet. Atlanta: Peachtree, 2004. This memoir from the author's childhood in Heflin, AL tells of Saturdays spent with his grandmother doing chores, talking, and making sweet teacakes. "I wrote this book to honor my grandmother, my mother’s mother, my mammaw. As a child I loved the time I spent with her because, like no other grown up, she had the time to make me the center of her attention, to make me feel so very special" (author's web site). Positive review by Beth Pye in Georgia Library Quarterly (vol. 45, 2008) available online. See also background and lesson plans on illustrator's web site.

LaMotte, David. White Flour. Illus. Jenn Hales. Montreat, NC: Lower Dryad Music, 2012. "In Seussian rhyme, it tells the funny and inspiring story of the day that the Ku Klux Klan met the Coup Clutz Clowns, who offered a whimsical and wise retort to their racist rally. The poem that provides the text for the book was inspired by true events in Knoxville, TN in 2007." The text of the poem is available at the author's web site, and video of the author reading it.

Landry, Bill, Ryan Webb, and Sharon Poole. Buddy: Dog of the Smoky Mountains. Illus. Simon Mendez. Knoxville, TN: Celtic Cat Publishing, 2013. 34 pp. Based on Bill Landry's dog Buddy, famous because they live next to the Smoky Mountain National Park. "Buddy demonstrates life's lessons children of all ages can enjoy and appreciate. It's the story of . . . well, a dog's life of being a dog."

Lentz, Alice Boggs. Mountain Magic: A Family's Legacy of Faith. Illus. David Griffin. Nashville, TN: Tommy Nelson, 1998."Recalls the lure of the mountains that first draws a family to spend the summer there in Grandmother's house and brings them back year after year even when the children are grown and have children of their own."

Lentz, Alice B. Tweetsie Adventure. Illus. Carol B. Murray. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1995. "Marc takes a ride on Tweetsie Railroad and helps the deputies on Tweetsie's opening day." See Overmountain web site for summary and picture.

LeSourd, Nancy. Christy: Christmastime at Cutter Gap. Illus. Bill Farnsworth. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz, 2003. Based on the novel by Catherine Marshall. "Christmas is the topic of discussion for Miss Christy and her class at the Cutter Gap schoolhouse. One by one the students share their favorite Smoky Mountain holiday traditions—baking, hunting, and other fun activities. However, Ruby May Morrison, the usually outgoing, mischievous redhead, is silent. When she unexpectedly announces her plans to spend Christmas with her father, Christy is doubtful since Ruby Mae's father has not been in her life in years."Cover of Shady Streams, Slippery Salamanders

Love, Jason P. Shady Streams, Slippery Salamanders. Illus. Joyce M. Turley. Muddy Boots, 2019. 31 pp. "Two boys, Jonathan and Christopher, live in the southern Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. These mountains are among the oldest on Earth and the highest can reach over 6,000 feet in elevation. Many streams and rivers are born in these mountains. One day while exploring near a stream they discover a type of salamander they had never seen before. The next day they take the salamander to a biologist who studies the health of rivers and streams in Great Smoky Mountains National park, and there begins their adventure learning about salamanders and their habitats." Jason Love is the Coweeta Long-Term Ecological Research Manager in Otto, North Carolina.

Lyon, George Ella. Basket. Illus. Mary Szilagyi. Orchard, 1990. A heart-warming story about the many uses of a grandmother's oak egg basket. She loses it when she moves and thinks she left important things in it, but after her death her granddaughter finds the basket with only one spool in it. She cherishes the basket that reminds her of her grandmother's familiar rhymes and ways. Includes a song about a spool of thread with music by Steve Lyon provided in the book. Jennifer Smith's article "The Music of Appalachian Children's Literature" discusses the original song that is "reminiscent of traditional folk music." (Smith in Children and Libraries, vol. 5, Winter 2007, p. 34.)

Lyon, George Ella. Cecilís Story. Illus Peter Catalanotto. Orchard, 1991. The second-person poetic text follows a boy imagining how he'll have to struggle on the farm if his father goes off to the Civil War and his mother goes to tend his wounds, but Cecil is reassured that his father's strength and affection remain even if he returns with one arm.

Lyon, George Ella. Come a Tide. Illus. Stephen Gammell. Orchard, 1990. While the humorous illustrations and witty text seemingly ignore the seriousness of a flood, the book does present both the realities of a flood and the importance of family and community working together.

Lyon, George Ella. Mama is a Miner. Illus. Peter Catalanotto. Orchard, 1994. See Lesson Plan for Mama is a Miner by George Ella Lyon. A young girl pays tribute to her mother, a coal miner. The bitter hardship and danger of coal mining are sharply contrasted with the safer, more traditional role of a homemaker.

Lyon, George Ella. A Regular Rolling Noah. Illus. Stephen Gammell. Aladdin, 1986. Noah Gabbard from Pathford, KY tells about taking his first train ride to tend the neighbors' animals in a boxcar when they move to flat land in Canada. After he rides home in style, he intends to tell folks, "Be glad you have these mountains to call home." Lively, colorful watercolors emphasize Noah's friendly relations with hoboes and animals, and the changing colors of the sky.

Lyon, George Ella. A Sign. Illus. Chris Soentpiet. Orchard, 1998. A writer tells how she thought of different exciting careers before she discovered that she was meant to "make words glow." Based on Lyon's childhood fascination with neon signs and her neighbor who made them. Bright watercolors depict the child's world in the mid-20th century, including her letter to the President after her school watches the beginning of space travel.

Lyon, George Ella. Who Came Down That Road? Illus. Peter Catalanotto. Orchard, 1992. When a child asks his mother the title question, she tells him of people and animals who traveled the road back into prehistoric times.

See Bibliography of Books by George Ella Lyon for complete list of author's works, and Fantasy and Concept Books that Contain Realism below.


Marie, Nancy. Country Christmas. Illus. Delores Rylan. Grafton, WV, 1979. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary.

May, Kathy L. Molasses Man. Illus. Felicia Marshall. New York: Holiday House, 2000. Family traditions and the passing down of skills are depicted with strong borderless paintings. A child in a contemporary African American family tells in detail how Grandpa leads the complex process of making molasses from sorghum cane. Family members and neighbors help until the molasses is ready for eating and selling in jars. May's short history of the making of molasses in her "Author's Note" at the end observes that "molasses men" are rare today but they used to be common in the rural South. The author, from eastern Kentucky, observed molasses making in rural Virginia.   

McCutcheon, Sheryl. Riley Goes to the Races. Illus. Toby Mikle. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, "An ordinary day turns into an adventure when Riley goes to his first motocross race." Written by a mother in Spencer, WV whose son races motocross.

McKnight, GinaThe Blackberry Patch. Illus. Benton Rudd. Mustang, OK: Tate Pub. & Enterprises, 2009. "The Blackberry Patch is an exhilarating, step-by-step journey into the beautiful, lush haven of blackberries! Using all five senses, join author Gina McKnight on a hazardous quest through brambles and swarming varmints to find the ultimate blackberry patch for a delicious, natural treat." The author grew up near the Appalachian Mountains in southern Ohio.

Miles, Miska. Gertrude's Pocket. Illus. Emily A. McCully. Gloucester, Mass: P. Smith, 1984. "Gertrude wanted to hurt Watson but tearing his only shirt brought more serious consequences than she anticipated."

Miles, Miska. Hoagie's Rifle-Gun. Illus. John Schoenherr. Boston: Little, Brown, 1970. 40 pp. "Hunting animals for food is a necessity for Hoagie's poor Appalachian family but it becomes difficult when game has a name."

Millen, C. M. Blue Bowl Down: An Appalachian Rhyme. Illus. Holly Meade. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2004. In this lullaby, an Appalachian mother and child spend time in the evening preparing the dough for resting, just as they will do. The uncomplicated rhyme and bold collages pay tribute to one of life's simpler pleasures.Rag Coat cover

Mills, Lauren. The Rag Coat. Illus. Lauren Mills. Boston: Little, Brown, 1991. A young girl, daughter of a WV miner, finds acceptance by being courageousóby returning to school after the women of her community make her a coat from scraps of cloth full of memories. Mills expanded this story into a forthcoming novel, Minna's Patchwork Coat, published by Little, Brown in 2015. (See Appalachian Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults.)

Mills, Patricia. Until the Cows Come Home. New York: North-South, 1993. Tinted photographs show scenes on a farm in the West Virginia countryside.

Moser, Barry. Good and Perfect Gifts: An Illustrated Retelling of The Gift of the Magi. Illus. Barry Moser. Boston: Little, Brown, 1997. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary.

O'Kelley, Mattie L. Circus! Little, Brown, 1986. "A farm family takes off a half day from school and chores to go see all the amazing things at the circus." O'Kelley was a folk artist in northern Georgia.

O'Kelley, Mattie L. Moving to Town. Little, Brown, 1991. 30 pp. "A rural family moves from their old farm to a house in the big city" in the early 1900s. They explore the city and return to their country home before Christmas. O'Kelley was a folk artist in northern Georgia. See another book illustrated by O'Kelley under Radin.


Pack and Banks. Alphabet books on Appalachian culture. See Fantasy and Concept Books that Contain Realism below.

Parton, Dolly. Coat of Many Colors. Illus. Judith Sutton. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. "Dolly Parton's first book for children is based on her own childhood in the rolling Tennessee hills. When a little girl's mama makes her a coat out of rags, the other children at school laugh at her, but she soon learns that riches come in many forms."

Poulsen, Kathleen Phillips. Apple Doll. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 2002. A family story about mountain traditions, including songs and games, with a pattern for an apple doll. See short description at Overmountain web site and review by Charisse Floyd in Foreword Magazine web site, with picture.


Radin, Ruth Y. A Winter Place. Illus. Mattie L. O'Kelley. Little, Brown, 1982. "A family carrying ice skates passes villages, farms, and forests on the way to a frozen lake high in the hills. Fifteen paintings accompany brief descriptive text." O'Kelley was a folk artist in northern Georgia. See other books listed under her name.

Ransom, Candice. Hello, Virginia! Illus. David Walker. Sterling, 2010. See Fantasy and Concept Books that Contain Realism below.

Ransom, Candice. One Christmas Dawn. Illus. Peter Fiore. BridgeWater Books, 1995. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary.

Ransom, Candice. F. The Promise Quilt. Illus. Ellen Beier. Walker, 1999. "After her father leaves the family farm on Lost Mountain to be General Lee's guide, Addie finds ways to remember him—even when he does not return at the end of the war. A good book to compare with the novel Where the Lilies Bloom by Bill and Vera Cleaver because a widowed mother and children have to make

Ransom, Candice F. Tractor Day. Illus. Laura J. Bryant. Walker, 2007. In the rhyming text, a young girl tells about spending the day plowing and planting with her father. Her mother, a baby, farm animals, and some watchful crows also appear in the story, depicted in colorful, realistic watercolors. Based on Ransom's childhood on an Appalachian farm and tractor rides with her stepfather, as well as Bryant's experience living among farmers in the Shenandoah Mountains. See illustrations and reviews at Bryant's web site.

Ransom, Candice F. When the Whippoorwill Calls. Illus. Kimberly Bulcken Root. Tambourine, 1995. Ransom was inspired by the uprooting of Virginia families when "In 1924, a portion of the Blue Ridge was chosen as the site for a national park near the nationís capital. Some 465 families lived within park boundaries. Most of the families did not own the land they lived on and farmed. The landowners sold their property, so the mountain families had to move" (Authorís Note). At first Pap believes that no one can buy a mountain and that rumors of the government buying their homes were as unbelievable as a legend that their mountain was filled with fire, revealed in a yellow glow every seven years. When they do have to move, the child narrator and her father find gold and silver in their new home with modern conveniences and in nature when they visit their former mountain home. Pap regains his fondness for singing "Pretty Polly."

Rice, Clay. Mama, Let's Make a Moon. Huntsville, Utah: Familius LLC, 2011 32 pp. "Award winning and nationally recognized author/illustrator Clay Rice has created a beautifully poetic tale about a humble mountain family who decide to make a moon. Created with Rice's renowned individual paper cut art, the fun begins when the brother and sister start collecting the 'ingredients.' The 'Recipe For A Moon' contains everything from 'a stream full of silver, a swan’s starry shine, and 2 ‘possum’s paws of dream dust from the imagination mine.' Along the way they teach the reader about love, the importance of relationships, and the joy of making something from nothing." WorldCat notes that "in creating the highly detailed landscape silhouettes..., Clay spent many weeks doing field study in the Appalachian mountains.... Clay takes us on a wonderfully lighthearted mountain adventure that is as playful as a bear cub, but with a message that's as deep as a highland lake. As the story moves, it weaves through the mountains towards core values like family, love, relationships, and making something from nothing."

Ryan, Cheryl. Sally Arnold. Illus. Bill Farnsworth. Cobblehill Books, 1996. "A lonely girl befriends an elderly woman who collects things."Appalachia: Voices of Singing Birds cover

Rylant, Cynthia. Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birds. Illus. Barry Moser. Harcourt, 1991. "Lyrical prose and warm watercolor illustrations bring a 'certain part of the country called Appalachia' alive for young readers. Two award-winning artists, forever touched by their experiences growing up in this unique landscape, have teamed to create a quietly powerful and beautifully crafted portrait of life in a timeless place" (from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt web site). A quotation from James Agee (Knoxville: Summer 1915) opens the book and reveals the source of the title; the quote is about lying on the grass and talking idly with family in summer, "like the voices of sleeping birds." The book describes what you will find in Appalachia, from "towns with names like Coal City" to dogs running free and their hard-working owners born in coal camps. About mining coal, p. 5 says, "If you are brave enough to travel two miles down into solid dark earth to get it, somebody will pay you money for your trouble. The men and women who mine the coal probably had fathers and grandfathers who were miners before them. Maybe some thought they didn't have any other choice but to be a miner, living in between or on the sides of these mountains, and seeing no way to go off and become doctors or teachers and having no wish to become soldiers." Those who do leave often come back. Misconceptions about "hillbillies" by outsiders are discussed, and different kinds of houses and churches and family traditions are described, including children wandering around the woods and creeks, seeing God's work in the landscape. Moser's illustrations, as in many of his books, are like realistic portraits with wide borders on the left side of most double-page spreads, and some are based on photographs. This text is included in Books That Teach Kids to Write by Marianne Saccardi. Santa Barbara, Calif: Libraries Unlimited, 2011. And in Building a Child's Library: Inside Twenty-Five Classic Children's Stories by Miriam Johnson. New York: Paulist Press, 2004.

Rylant, Cynthia. Christmas in the Country. Illus. Diane Goode. Blue Sky Press, 2002. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary.

Rylant, Cynthia. Miss Maggie. Illus. Thomas Di Grazia. Dutton, 1983. Rylant's second book is about a woman her family knew when she was growing up in WV. "Young Nat is afraid of old Miss Maggie and her rotting log house until his heart conquers his fears."

Rylant, Cynthia. Night in the Country. Bradbury Press, 1986. "Text and illustrations describe the sights and sounds of nighttime in the country" (WorldCat). Although the book does not focus on regional Appalachian details, Rylant wrote that this is one of the books that "came from my memories of those four years" living with her grandparents in small-town WV after her parents divorced, until she was in third grade. "It's that time that seems to have sunk thickest into my brain and my heart and much of what I saw and heard then has come into my books" (Sixth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators, 1989, p. 255).

Rylant, Cynthia. The Relatives Came. Illus. Stephen Gammell. Bradbury, 1985. Also published by Scholastic with Teacher Resources. In her third book, Rylant tells the story of Virginia relatives who leave their home early in the morning to arrive in West Virginia with loads of hugs, laughter, and fun. Gammellís humorous illustrations combine with Rylantís light-hearted and warm text to recall the wonder and delight of family visits, reunions that remind readers of the harmony of a long standing Appalachian tradition. Jennifer Smith's article "The Music of Appalachian Children's Literature" notes that Gammell' s full-page illustration of a family band playing while others eat and work exemplifies an old-time string band. [Children and Libraries 5 (Winter 2007): p. 32.]. Gammell included himself as the man in the green and white striped shirt, blue jeans, and red tennis shoes playing the guitar in this picture. Awarded a 1986 Caldecott honor. See also YouTube video with oral reading and full display of the book (and a note saying Scholastic gave permission, 2015).

Rylant, Cynthia. Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story. Illus Chris K. Soentpiet. Orchard Books, 1987. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary. See also background, images, quotes from the author and illustrator, teachers' lesson plans, and a video reading of the book at the artist's web site.

Rylant, Cynthia. This Year's Garden. Illus. Mary Szilagyi. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1994. Rylant summons fond memories of the changing seasons while children and adults alike wait to plant the new garden. It celebrates the family working together and the coming together of the community.

Rylant, Cynthia. When I Was Young in the Mountains. Illus. Diane Goode. Dutton, 1982. A nostalgic look back at Rylantís own youth in West Virginia, this book describes a young girlís memories of growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, the granddaughter of an Appalachian coal-mining family. Mining is only mentioned in the beginning, "when . . . Grandfather came home in the evening covered with the black dust of a coal mine. Only his lips were clean, and he used them to kiss the top of my head." (See Rylant's picture book Appalachia, above, for more probing comments on the necessity of working in the mines.) The lack of amenities such as running water and electricity is clearly portrayed in Rylantís book; however, there is sentimentality in the adult narratorís memory. The focus is on the harmony of family and community life. Goode's illustrations, with women in long dresses and no electricity, depict the early twentieth century, although Rylant has said that childhood. Awarded a 1983 Caldecott honor. Rylant discussed and read from this book on the radio show Inside Appalachia, Mar. 28, 2001 episode.


Seabrooke, Brenda. Looking for Diamonds. Illus. Nancy Mantha. Cobblehill, 1995. "A young girl shares a special visit with her grandparents in the countryside."

Seale, Galya Dowdy. The Little Squash Seed. Illus. Galya Dowdy Seale. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 2003. Story about the miracle of gardening by a native of Bristol, TN. Picture and short description at Overmountain web site.

Seymour, Tres. Hunting the White Cow. Illus. Wendy Anderson Halperin. New York: Orchard, 1993. A young girls tells about her southern Kentucky family's search for their missing cow. The story is a little like a cumulative nursery rhyme or folktale as the girl's father recruits an increasing number of men to help him every time the cow is spotted in a different place. The men tell the narrator she can't go along and they will only be gone a short time, but their prediction of the time required increases with each attempt, and they return home plagued by increasing stickers, smudges, and pains. Their refrain after each failure refers to the cow as "one smart dude," "smartest cow in the county," and one that "always had a pretty calf." Even Papaw, the greatest cow-caller in the region, can't catch the cow. The narrator goes off by herself and gently gets the cow on a rope, but loses their battle of wills when she falls asleep and the cow breaks the rope. Remaining hopeful at the end, she learns cow-calling from Papaw. The pencil and watercolor illustrations in soft colors and a delicate style depict hilly farm landscapes, a mid-twentieth-century home, and a country store. Text boxes are nestled between the main scenes in each double-page spread and smaller panels across the bottom depicting specific details from the story.

Seymour, Tres. We Played Marbles. Illus. Dan Andreasen. Orchard Books, 1998. "When friends playing on a Civil War battlefield begin to imitate what happened there, Papaw asks them to quit because he knows a better game."

Shelby, AnneHomeplace. Illus. Wendy Anderson Halperin. Orchard, 1995. A Richard Jackson Book. "A grandmother and grandchild trace their family history."

Shelby, AnneWe Keep a Store. Illus. John Ward. Orchard Place, 1990. Like Homeplace, based on Shelby's familyís homeplace in Clay County, Kentucky.

Smucker, Anna Egan. No Star Nights. Illus. Steve Johnson. Knopf, 1989. Smucker recalls her life in the small mill town of Weirton, West Virginia. The harsh realities of working in an Appalachian steel millóthe pollution, the dangeróare honestly presented in both text and illustrations. However, there is tenderness present in the adult narratorís memories of her childhood. Additionally, Johnsonís warm, hazy oil paintings help mute the harshness of life in the small mill town.

Smucker, Anna Egan. Outside the Window. Illus. Stacey Schuett. Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

See Anna Smucker author pages for more detailed information on books, including lesson plans, activities, author bibliography.

Sullivan, Sarah. Root Beer and Banana. Illus. Greg Shed. Candlewick Press, 2005. Molly tells about visiting the general store on a hot summer day with her grandfather, making friends with a girl who helps solve the dilemma about whether to get a root beer or banana ice pop. The girls get one of each, trade halves, and sit under a tree with a dog, "swapping stories / the way old friends do." The new friend is named Miracle because she was born after her mother had been told she could have no more children. Poetic text and gouache full-page illustrations in soft colors. Sullivan, a resident of Charleston, WV, tells on her web site that the story was inspired by a workshop with George Ella Lyon and childhood memories of buying popsicles while visiting her grandparents in Tappahannock, Virginia.

Swain, Gwenyth. I Wonder as I Wander. Illus. Ronald Himler. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2003. See Appalachian Christmas Picture Books for summary. Jennifer Smith's article "The Music of Appalachian Children's Literature" observes, "The realistic watercolor and pen illustrations capture the hardships of Appalachia during the Great Depression." (Smith in Children and Libraries, vol. 5, Winter 2007, p. 36.)


Vaughn, Margaret Britton, and Carole B. Knuth. The Birthday Dolly. Illus. Lucille Lundquist. Bell Buckle, TN: Bell Buckle Press, 2000. "A doll on the shelf of the company store in the coal mining community of Beckley, West Virginia, yearns to go home with one of the families." Dolly lives in different homes, including an African American "home of a different color" in the 1950s.

Vorndan, Judith Clay. Mr. Bear Lives There. Illus. Arthur Skupniewicz. Painesville Publishing, 2005. A story illustrated with line drawings about a little girl in 1952 who stops being afraid of Mr. Bear when she learns he is Mr. Baer the beekeeper. The author grew up in Seth, WV.

Wach, Delia Bowman. The Cat Has Class! Terra Alta, WV: Headline Books, 2008. 32 pp. "Presents the story of Frankie, a cat that travels far and wide before finding a home with the students and teachers of Franklin Elementary Center [Parkersburg, WV]. Includes an introduction to the workshop that led to the book's creation, a history of the cat on which the story is based, and instructions for drawing a cat" (Worldcat).

Watt, Jeri Hanel. A Piece of Home. Illus. Hyewon Yum. Candlewick Press, 2016. "When Hee Jun's family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. His eyes are not big and round like his classmates', and he can't understand anything the teacher says, even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly at him. As he lies in bed at night, the sky seems smaller and darker. But little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. And one day he is invited to a classmate's house, where he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea—mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him—and Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a "piece of home" in their new garden. Lyrical prose and lovely illustrations combine in a gentle, realistic story about finding connections in an unfamiliar world."

Fantasy and Concept Books that Contain Realism

Note: Folktales are listed in a separate Folktale Picture Book Bibliography.

Aldrich, Sandra D. Stuart Squirrel Learns a Lesson in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Illus. Ryan Webb. Foreword by Ranger Kim Delozier. Knoxville: Celtic Cat Publishing, 2017. 32 pp. Animal fantasy with cartoon-like illustrations and serious themes. "Stuart Squirrel lives in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and although he is warned not to eat food left behind by humans, he wants to try it. Includes information for children about the 'leave no trace' principle, and facts about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park." The author has been a volunteer in the park.

Bartlett, Linda and Wen Marcec. Keby: The Earth-Friendly Bear. Xlibris, 2009. 32 pp. Text and photographs, with an environmental message by Kevin S. Richardson. "Keby is a bear who lives in the Kentucky Appalachians and is encouraging children to be friendly to the earth."

Busse, Sarah Martin and Jacqueline Briggs Martin. Banjo Granny. Illus. Barry Root. Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Granny gets magical help traveling across different kinds of landscape with her banjo to visit her grandson, who is "wiggly, jiggly, and all-around giggly." Although Martin and her family and the story's settings are not specifically Appalachian, the story focuses on love of bluegrass music as well as family devotion. Busse, a poet (and Martin's daughter), wrote the song "Banjo Granny." The first stanza and music are in the book. Other stanzas are in Martin's web site. Reviews and study guides are also on the web site.

Caudill, Rebecca. The Best-Loved Doll. Illus. Elliott Gilbert. 1962. Henry Holt, 1990. Betsy has to decide which of her four dolls to take to a party, where the mother of her friend decides to give an extra prize for the best-loved doll, because it's obvious that Betsy loves her well-worn doll Jennifer. There is some fantasy in this "read-aloud story for girls," when the four different kinds of dolls in Betsy's bedroom talk. Caudill is a native of Harlan County, KY. Gilbert's illustrations give the setting an urban, early twentieth-century look. Several traditional counting-out rhymes are included when Betsy is trying

Cheek, Pauline Binkley. Appalachian Scrapbook: An A-B-C of Growing Up in the Mountains. Johnson City, Tenn: Overmountain Press, 1988. 161 pp. Review by Llewellyn McKernan. Appalachian Journal, vol. 15 (Summer 1988). 2nd ed. 1995. "As the child in the book prepares an alphabet scrapbook of things Appalachian, the reader is guided in preparing a scrapbook of his/her own" (Worldcat).

Chittum, Ida. A Nutty Business. Illus. Stephen Gammell. Putnam, 1973. This is Gammell's first picture book, about a humorous conflict between humans and squirrels over nuts. "When Farmer Flint gathers nuts to sell in order to buy calico for his wife and daughter, the squirrels declare war." The book is reviewed by Sandra Fenichel Asher in "Poems, Prayers, Pets, and a Princess." Children's Literature, vol. 3 (1974): pp. 202-206 (available online through library services such as Project Muse).

Crane, Carol. P is for Peach: A Georgia Alphabet. Discover America State by State Alphabet Series. Illus. Michael Braught. Sleeping Bear Press, 2002. Several paragraphs of background accompany a short poetic text and illustrations of the feature for each letter of the alphabet. C tells the legend of the Cherokee rose (the official state flower) and Trail of Tears. D is for Dalton, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where a young woman in 1895 started the popularity of a hand-tufted method of creating bedspreads; "Bedspread Alley" later shifted to become a capital of carpet manufacture. E is for the Etowah Indian Mounds northwest of Atlanta. K is for kudzu, called the invasive "vine that ate the South." M is for Mountains, with details on the state's highest, Brasstown Bald Mountain; waterfalls such as Amicalola Falls (Cherokee for "tumbling waters"); and the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. Y is for the rare Confederate Yellow Daisy that grows at Stone Mountain. Although Eatonton is not in the Appalachian Mountains, it is the home of Joel Chandler Harris, who collected African American folktales (this book says he wrote them) and published the Uncle Remus stories in the 1880s (see "Brer Rabbit" page). It is curious that this book says (under Z for "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah") that the Disney film Song of the South is a "wonderful movie" adaptation of Harris' tales; although the film still has lots of fans, Disney has forbidden sales of the film for decades because of charges of racism, mainly in the live action frame story.

Crane, Carol. T is for Tar Heel: A North Carolina Alphabet. Discover America State by State Alphabet Series. Illus. Gary Palmer. Sleeping Bear Press, 2003. Several paragraphs of background accompany a short poetic text and illustrations of the feature for each letter of the alphabet. Items related to western NC include the Appalachian Mountains, the Biltmore mansion, Carl Sandburg's Rutabaga stories, and the history of NASCAR ("Z is for zoom!").

Cullen, Lynn. Little Scraggly Hair: A Dog on Noah's Ark. Illus. Jacqueline Rogers. Holiday House, 2003. "The legend of how the dog got a wet nose first appears in print as 'The 'Ole in the Ark,' by Marriott Edgar, a Scottish writer and stage performer. . . .I retold the story from the dog's point of view, emphasizing the development of the dog's long-standing friendship with humankind. . . .I chose the uniquely American speech of southern Appalachian as recorded in the 1950s by eminent folklorist Richard Chase in his book American Folk Tales and Songs. By using the dialect in Little Scraggly Hair, I hoped to preserve a voice that is a valuable part of our national heritage" (Author's Notes).

De Lint, Charles. A Circle of Cats. Illus. Charles Vess. Viking Juvenile, 2003. 44 pp. Although this fantasy story (expanded later into the 2013 novel The Cats of Tanglewood Forest) is associated with the imaginary modern world that de Lint depicts in other books, Newford, the setting of these stories, and especially the illustrations, are deeply influenced by the mountain landscape and culture that surround Vess in his Abingdon, Virginia home. "Lillian is an orphan who lives with her aunt on a homestead miles from anyone, surrounded by uncharted forest. She wanders the woods, chasing squirrels and rabbits and climbing trees. Free-spirited and independent Lillian is a kindred spirit to the many wild cats who gather around the ancient beech tree. One day, while she is under the beech, Lillian is bitten by a poisonous snake. The cats refuse to let her die, and use their magic to turn her into one of their own. How she becomes a girl again is a lyrical, original folktale."

Edwards, Pamela Duncan. O is for Old Dominion: A Virginia Alphabet. Discover America State by State Alphabet Series. Illus. Troy Howell. Sleeping Bear Press, 2005. Several paragraphs of background accompany a short poetic text and illustrations of the feature for each letter of the alphabet. Some of the items included are Arlington National Cemetery, Monticello, and Booker T. Washington.

Elbon, Julia. Lil' Leroi, 2016. Lil' Leroi's Railroad Summer, 2018. Lil' Leroi's Rail & River Adventures, 2018. Illus. Heather Johnson, McClain Printing. "These Switchback Stories continue the characters and add others. They can be read in sequence or independently. Stories are set in the Greenbrier River Valley from Durbin to Cass, West Virginia. The Durbin Rocket Ride and the historic Cass Scenic Railroad capture the views and spirit of the area. Featured are Shay engine rides on the switchback tracks and steam engines on the river tracks. Both served in the lumber industry. The story's inspiration was a little yellow yard engine named Lil Leroi. The author felt he was an unsung hero who needed recognition for his life. The books tell how he and his neighbors live together and the stories highlight character-building events that occur in the adventures. Book 1, entitled Lil Leroi, gives life to a train engine that first led the ride. He was replaced by a steam engine and was given the job of a yard engine. The story develops how he grows and finds friends in his new job and in the railyard. Book 2 entitled Lil Leroi s Railroad Summer builds on the first book and both books share learning to like yourself, living with your neighbors, developing your talents, making the best of your opportunities, including others, enjoying games, sharing, cooperating, trusting, developing friendships and just having summer fun. Book 3 tells how life with his animal neighbors and railyard friends challenge them. Adventures test their values, abilities, and imaginations. Surprises lie ahead as they cooperate to meet their chosen tasks. Hopefully, the stories will teach about trains as well as positive behavior. Behaviors change like the switchback tracks. People conquer obstacles in their lives and move on in the same way. The author hopes children can enjoy the stories and imagine along with Lil Leroi. It is her hope that they learn to lead productive and fulfilling lives. It is a great privilege to encourage children to realize their potential."

Eversole, Robyn Harbert. The Magic House. Illus. Peter Palagonia. Orchard Books, 1992. "April, who sees her house in an imaginative way that can turn the stairs into a waterfall and the living room into a desert, tries to share her vision with her older sister Meredith as Meredith practices her ballet steps."

Graham, Cleda B. The Mountaineer and the Hickenlooper. Illus. David Riddle. United States, 2000. 22 pp. "While the mountaineer sleeps, the tiny elflike Hickenlooper emerges from his hole to mend broken items in the cabin at the top of a mountain."

Graves, Jonathan. Isabella Propeller and the Magic Beanie. Illus. Gail E. Haley. Blowing Rock, NC: Parkway Publishers, 2011. "After a strange encounter with a mysterious mountain woman, and with the help of a magic beanie, Isabella’s dream comes true! Set in the charming, real-life, mountain village of Blowing Rock, and inspired by the area’s unusual wind patterns and a local legend, Isabella Propeller is certain to capture young readers’ imaginations. Accompanied by her dog, Mullaby, and her flying companion, Red Tail, Isabella embarks on a flying adventure and enters an aerial world that has intrigued children and adults for generations" (from book's web site). Includes a map of the fictional version of Blowing Rock, which you can see on the web site with other features.

Hall, Francie. Appalachian ABCs. Illus. Kent Oehm. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1998. Each letter represents a plant and some other feature of natural history or Appalachian culture.

Hall, Francie. Appalachian Christmas ABCs. Illus. Kent Oehm. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 2008. "Laced throughout the litany of letters in this celebratory alphabet book is the meaning of Christmas with an Appalachian twist..." (book jacket).

Heermance, Sloan. Venture to the Smokies: A Teddy Bear Explores Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Eugene, OR: Ventures Adventures, 2007. 111 pp. "Readers can explore the meadows, mountains, and forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Venture the traveling teddy bear as a guide, and complete puzzles, games, and other activities" (WorldCat).

Hodson, Debbie. A Mountain Rainbow. Illus. Miriam Moyer. Emmalena, KY: IvyStone Press, 2004. 30 pp. Five chapters with soft, rainbow-colored illustrations and borders throughout. The author and artist are both from southeastern KY. Nellie loves her mountain home in the 1930s but her family decides to move north so her father can work in a factory instead of the mines. There is a touch of magic when Nellie catches a miniature rainbow in her hand and puts it in her heart. She adjusts to city life and visits her grandparents in the summer. When her own children are grown, Nellie convinces her husband to move to the mountains.

Horstman, Lisa. The Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association, 1997. For details, see AppLit bibliography Nature and the Environment in Appalachian Literature.

James, Eric. A Halloween Scare in West Virginia. Illus. Marina Le Ray. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2015. 40 pp. For ages 4-8. "It's Halloween night, and creatures and critters from near and far are starting to gather outside the front door. And now here comes a whole army of monsters, on broomsticks, buses, and bikes, all clamoring in the darkness. What is it they want? Are they coming for you? Are you prepared for the scariest night in West Virginia? This is a series so you can find very similar books for other states: "A delightfully spooky Halloween adventure featuring iconic locations and landmarks from your favorite city, state, or country."

James, Eric. The Spooky Express West Virginia. Illus. Marcin Piwowarski. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2017. 32 pp. For ages 4-10. This is a series so you can find very similar books for other states with some images of state landmarks. "In this thrilling read aloud, join the passengers of the Spooky Express for an exciting adventure that takes you across West Virginia! You'll work with witches, ghouls, ghosts, spiders, and more as you try to save Halloween!"

James, Eric. Trick or Treat in West Virginia: A Halloween Adventure Through the Mountain State. Illus. Karl West Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2019. 40 pp. For ages 4-8. This is a series so you can find very similar books for other states. "An unexpected visitor arrives in town! But who is he? What is he? And where did he come from? Readers will learn the answers to all these questions as they watch the mysterious visitor travel through places they know and love in West Virginia! Come along and celebrate an unforgettable Halloween night!"

Kazek, Kelly. Y Is for Y'all: A Book of Southern ABC's. Illus. Michelle H. Hyde. Alabama Media Group, 2020. "Here in the South, we like speech filled with whimsy and with wit. Why say 'Mama is really mad,' when you can say she 'pitched a hissy fit'? This book has some examples of colorful southern words to help folks learn the alphabet the way it should be heard" (cover). This alphabet book in verse by an author from northern Alabama contains some items that are more common in the deep South than in Appalachia, and some that are popular in other American regions as well (such as deviled eggs at potlucks, lightning bugs, and zinnias). Some of the alphabet words are well-known in Appalachia, such as cornbread, grits, kudzu, and "y'all."

Kerns, Thelma. A Ducky Wedding. Illus. Bryant Owens. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1991. See picture and short description at Overmountain web site.

Kerns, Thelma. Flea Market Fleas From A to Z. Illus. Bryant Owens. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1998. See picture at Overmountain web site.

Kincaid, Tracy. The Adventures of Casey the Lost Suitcase. Terra Alta, WV: Headline Books, 2007. 32 pp. Casey's European adventures begin in WV.

Lyon, George EllaA B Cedar: An Alphabet of Trees. Illus. Tom Parker. Orchard, 1996. Tree names from A to Z are illustrated with silhouettes of the full tree and colored india ink drawings of hands with leaves, berries, and nuts.

Lyon, George EllaCounting on the Woods. Photo. Ann Olson. DK Ink, 1998. Poetic lines of text and photographs combine counting with appreciation for natural objects observed by a child in the eastern Kentucky woods.

McCool-Solis, Cassity R. If You're from the Mountains. Independently published, 2018. 42 pp. "This book exists to shatter stereotypes and empower Appalachians of all ages and generations to show the world what we love about the Appalachian Mountains" (back cover). Short inspriational texts illustrated with drawings by Appalachian children Reagan S.Weedman, Mya Burgess, Walker Isaacs, Jacie Tackett, Laura B. Saylor, Troy L. Varney, Dravin Hamilton, Matteo Parker, Emma Caudill, Maleigha Anderson, Camryn Dewitt, Charlie Boggs, Gavin Alderman, Lindesy Johnson, Madison Kiefer, Nina Tucker, Scotty Neace, Eli White, Kayleigh Lucas, Katelynn Gaumer, Lindsie Milam, Kelsie Wright, and Tazmyn Deer.

McMillan, Jenna. East Tennessee from A to Z. Jacksonville, FL: Books by Kids, 2013. Illustrated by patients from East Tennessee Hospital. Each page contains a borderless painting and texts in verse for multiple items starting with that letter of the alphabet. For example, "Davy Crockett is a great folk hero who lived here / Famous for his outdoor skills, he's King of the Wild Frontier!" Includes a wide range of geographic and cultural landmarks, especially in Knoxville; historical figures; children's interests; and items related to the hospital such as x-ray. In the back are a quiz about the region, background on the 12-year-old author and illustrations, and a letter from a child patient who inspired his father's insurance company to sponsor the book. The A to Z series publishes educational books to benefit nonprofit organizations, written and illustrated in part by children. See also Purple Lady, below.

Pack, Linda Hager. A is for Appalachia! The Alphabet Book of Appalachian Heritage. Illus. Pat Banks. Prospect, KY:  Harmony House, 2002. Rpt. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2009. The author (a teacher from Hamlin, WV) describes Appalachian traditions in the past tense: "The Appalachian about which I write is of a distant time and place." The book reprints two tales by Leonard Roberts: "The Devil's Big Toe" on the page "G is for ghost stories" (p. 16), and "Jack and the Bean Stalk" on the page "J is for the clever boy in the Jack Tales" (pp. 20-22). Pack stresses that "Jack was a country boy just like the children who loved hearing about him." The tales are from Sang Branch Settlers and Old Greasybeard (see Roberts in Appalachian Folktale Collections). Other pages describe traditional folkways, language, and customs. Review excerpts at University Press of Kentucky web site.

Pack, Linda Hager. Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z. Illus. Pat Banks. University Press of Kentucky, 2013. In alphabet format with details on traditional toys and games from the mid to late 1800s. Includes instructions for making an apple doll, an Iroquois legend of the corn husk doll, rules for hoop and stick, and examples of jump rope rhymes. O is a poem about being outside. Under "eerie stories" is a reprint of a ghost story, "Never Mind Them Watermelons," by S. E. Schlosser. Includes a glossary, Author's Note, Illustrator's Note, list of Places to Visit (mostly museums), a list of Recommended Appalachian Books for Children, and bibliography.

Paul, Ann Whitford. Eight Hands Round: A Patchwork Alphabet. Illus. Jeanette Winter. HarperCollins, 1991."Introduces the letters of the alphabet with names of early American patchwork quilt patterns and explains the origins of the designs by describing the activity or occupation they derive from."

The Purple Lady and Friends. Chattanooga from A to Z. Jacksonville, FL: Books By Kids, 2010. Sonia Young, also known as "The Purple Lady," worked with local artists Lynne Brock and Frances McDonald and many children from the Chattanooga area to produce this book, "filled with historical facts and fun trivia about the city they call home. Young readers will enjoy the rhyming and colorful illustrations while older students will undoubtedly learn a thing or two about their hometown. The illustrations were created by current and former patients of T. C. Thompson Children’s Hospital and other children from Chattanooga." See McMillan, above, for description of a similar book. The A to Z series publishes educational books to benefit nonprofit organizations, written and illustrated in part by children.Hello, Virginia cover

Ransom, Candice. Hello, Virginia! Illus. David Walker. Sterling, 2010. An appealing board book with acrylic paintings in soft colors, structured around opposites. A red-haired girl says hello to a variety of Virginia landmarks and objects, such as "bright house" (Mount Vernon), "dark cave" (Luray Caverns); "round apple," "square cabin" (Booker T. Washington's birthplace in Franklin County); "small fawn," "large rock" (Natural Bridge in Rockland County). In the final scene, camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the girl says "Good night, Virginia."

Rice, Clay. Mama, Let's Make a Moon. Huntsville, Utah: Familius, 2013. A picture book with folklore and fantasy elements, about a family creating a silver moon and hanging it in the sky. Mama, Let's Make a Moon coverWith cut-paper silhouette illustrations. "In creating the highly detailed landscape silhouettes..., Clay spent many weeks doing field study in the Appalachian mountains. In Mama, Clay takes us on a wonderfully lighthearted mountain adventure that is as playful as a bear cub, but with a message that's as deep as a highland lake. As the story moves, it weaves through the mountains towards core values like family, love, relationships, and making something from nothing."

Riehle, Mary Ann McCabe. B is for Bluegrass: A Kentucky Alphabet. Illus. Wes Burgiss. Sleeping Bear Press, 2002. Fun rhymes, along with factual information about the state, introduce both younger and older readers to the state of Kentucky. Realistic illustrations   

Riehle, Mary Ann McCabe. M is for Mountain State: A West Virginia Alphabet. Discover America State by State Alphabet Series. Illus. Laura J. Bryant. Sleeping Bear Press, 2004. Playful rhymes accompany each letter of the alphabet; for the older reader, factual information about the state have also been included in side panels for each letter. West Virginia illustrator Bryant takes advantage of her many travels throughout the state to provide authentic, colorful illustrations. The Allegheny Mountains and black bear are two of the items included.

Shoulders, Michael. V is for Volunteer: A Tennessee Alphabet. Discover America State by State Alphabet Series. Illus. Bruce Langston. Sleeping Bear Press, 2001. Several paragraphs of background accompany a short poetic text and illustrations of the feature for each letter of the alphabet. In addition to plants and animals, pages pertaining to Appalachia include Appalachian Mountains, Cloggers, Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, Quilts, Sequoyah, Trail of Tears, Unikite (a unique gem in the Unaka Mountains), Volunteers (including Davy Crockett at the Alamo). Review questions at the end of the book.

Smallman, Steve. Santa Is Coming to the Great Smoky Mountains. Illus. Robert Dunn. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2013. 32 pp. For ages 4-8. Places named are Gatlinburg, Bryson City, Pigeon Forge, Maggie Valley, Blowing Rock, Highlands, Cherokee, Cosby, Asheville, and Knoxville. In this series of Santa Is Coming To...books, you can find very similar books for each state, with at least one spread that combines images of landmarks in that state. In the book for Kentucky, "The Jolly Old Elf heads south from his home in the North Pole to Kentucky to deliver presents and good cheer, with a little help from the youngest reindeer, making his first trip, and not so much from his brand-new, high-tech Santa-nav system."

Wach, Martin, Delia B. Wach, and Jason Lynch. Teddy Bear Helps on the Farm. Headline Kids, 2008. 64 pp. This book "shares personal stories while supporting the young authors' futures. [It] is a unique collection of short stories and activities written by the children of Appalachia to inspire others. Under the direction of children's book authors, Martin & Delia Wach and Jason Lynch of E. G. Bear Co., children from Appalachian Ohio and West Virginia schools and workshop attendees at the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair in Ripley, W. Va., provided stories and drawings.... It was released at the Bob Evans Farm Festival held at the original Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio. The project symbolizes the power of children to impact their community and inspire others to lead successful and generous lives. This book stresses the idea that everyone has potential—no matter their abilities or where they are from, said Jason Lynch, co-founder of E. G. Bear Company. Children and their families can explore and engage in activities together, such as coloring and reading. There is also space for young readers to create their own stories and drawings. The process of watching the children of Appalachia reflect upon what it means to help others was amazing, Lynch said. We hope readers are inspired to help others in their greater community through this book. The book is dedicated to Bob Evans, founder of Bob Evans Restaurants and a native of Gallipolis, Ohio, who embodies the success anyone can achieve with the right support from their rural roots in Appalachia."

Young, Sonia. See Purple Lady, above.

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Index of AppLit Pages by Genre: Fiction
Index of AppLit Pages by Genre: Folklore
Index of AppLit Pages by Genre: Picture Books

Index of AppLit Pages by Genre: Poetry

Folktale Picture Book Bibliography
Picture Books with Cherokee Themes