Arts Literature

Book Feature: Christmas in Matheson Cove

Brenda Kay Ledford, Author, and Doreyl Ammons Cain, Illustrator

Author Brenda Kay Ledford drew upon a touching family story for her latest picture book for children. Christmas in Matheson Cove is a story set at Christmastime, but with a lovely nod to spring also. “During the Great Depression, my grandparents had no money to buy presents for Christmas,” Ledford says. “But the youngsters found a unique way to get gifts for the holiday.”

The book includes colorful images by Doreyl Ammons Cain, who also illustrated Ledford’s The Singing Convention. “We relate well and she understood what illustrations I wanted for the text,” Ledford says. “She was familiar with the history of this region and included the fashions and props appropriate for that time period.”

Ledford hopes, with the books she creates for children, to instill an early love of reading. “I would like them to find pleasure holding a book and to get excited as they read the story and savor the illustrations,” she says. “I hope adults will also enjoy and find encouragement as they take the journey with this mountain family.”

Christmas in Matheson Cove, March 2024, children’s, paperback, $20, by Brenda Kay Ledford, illustrated by Doreyl Ammons Cain, and published by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Taylors, SC. The book is available at Ledford will join author Meagan Lucas in a free reading at the John C. Campbell Folk School, in Brasstown, on Thursday, June 13, at 7 p.m.

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