Reading Appalachia, a multi-media exhibit organized by the Knox County Public Library and the East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville, Tenn., explores books published since the late 1800s. It runs through March 5 and features a display of life-size characters creating the sensation of walking through the pages of a storybook.
Children can stand eye-to-eye with characters from “Journey Cake Ho,” “A Mountain Rose,” “When Otter Tricked the Rabbit,” and others. Several books will be available to touch, read and explore. The exhibit also includes hands-on activities in which children are encouraged to try on masks of storybook characters and find themselves in a story, or create their own story of childhood set in Appalachia. Its Roanoke stay also will include on-site performances from Mill Mountain Theatre and readings by local volunteers.
Attendees can view films featuring the voice of old time storyteller Ray Hicks along with some of their favorite authors and illustrators. Hicks, now deceased, lived on Beech Mountain in North Carolina and spoke in a dialect scholars describe as Elizabethan, even Chaucerian. Hicks was most renowned for his ”Jack Tales,” stories of a poor mountain boy, an American cousin of the farm boy in ”Jack and the Beanstalk.”
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.