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Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z

Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z
by Linda Hager Pack
The University Press of Kentucky, 2013

The toys and games described in this watercolor-illustrated children's picture book are authentic 19th century pasttimes enjoyed by youngsters growing up in America's Appalachia Mountains.
Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z

Ranging from "A is for apple dolls" (a wrinkled toy molded from Rome apples) to "W is for whimmydiddles" (a toy carved by young boys on a stick with a spinner), author Linda Hager Pack provides an alphabetical sampling of traditional games, toys, and songs depicting playtime in 19th century Appalachia. The book describes familiar toys like marbles, slingshots and pick-up-sticks along with lesser-known toys such as limberjacks, Tom Walkers, and buzz buttons.

The letter "C" stands for corn shuck doll, "D" is for drop the handkerchief, "F" is for fox and hound, "G" is for game of graces, and "H" is for hoop and stick. The alphabet continues...

A native Appalachian, Pack is a veteran educator who has taught college-level courses in children's literature. Her text is accompanied by the artwork of watercolorist Pat Banks.


Linda Hager Pack is also the author of 
A is for Appalachia! The Alphabet Book of Appalachian Heritage.

An educator for 22 years, she taught children's literature at Eastern Kentucky University and received the Ashland Oil Teacher of the Year award in 1996.

"O" is for Outside

Pack uses a list poem filled with images of outdoor play to describe its importance to games and good times:

"Outside is where toes were dipped,
Rocks were skipped,
And laughing children dropped from ropes
at favorite water holes."

"T" is for Tom Walkers

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


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Appalachian Toys and Games from A to Z
A is for Appalachia!
The Alphabet Book of Appalachian Heritage

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