By Sam Terry
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
Peggy Goodman has found herself cast in a new role in 2017. A familiar face in Far Off Broadway Players’ productions, Goodman is also a retired teacher who has found a way to blend her love of a good story, a little drama, and a worthwhile message. Since the beginning of the year, she has written and published five children’s books to become one of southcentral Kentucky’s newest local authors.
A former Home Economics teacher at Metcalfe County High School, Goodman says her inspiration for each book as been memories made with her family and her life experiences. During the winter she wrote What Kind of Dog are You?, the story of a little girl and her dog. Goodman worked with an illustrator in Brooklyn to enhance the story.
Her second book, Peg the Pie Lady, is the story of a traveling baker who takes orders for various kinds of pies for a wide range of people in the community. “The customers are people you might find in any town – there’s a couple and there’s the local ‘cat lady’ and a grumpy old man, all hungry for pie,” Goodman said.
“Just for fun, I sometimes put people I know in the stories,” Goodman explained as she pointed out the image of a character representing her daughter-in-law who has an affinity for her chocolate pie. Scattered throughout the book are illustrations representing her grandchildren – all characters known only to the author – but lending inspiration for the story and the illustrations. “Nobody would recognize these characters but they are all people I care about. The boy with the soccer ball is actually a grandson, and a youngster wearing glasses represents another grandchild,” Goodman said.
“When I was teaching Home Ec, it seemed the days we were baking, the kids were always in a better mood because they knew they were going to have something good to eat by the end of the class,” Goodman said, explaining that by the end of Peg the Pie Lady, everyone in the town is happy and enjoying a spring day having had a good piece of pie.
Goodman’s third children’s book, The Little Red Hen Hatches a Plan, is a variation of the classic Little Red Hen story. The story unfolds as the Little Red Hen hires various characters to take on a variety of tasks. “She hires an assistant, she opens a day care, she hires a rooster to be the time keeper to announce when the baking should start, and she hired a turkey as the night guard because he’s big and strong,” Goodman said. “Each character is one selected for qualities that suit the work to be done. All of the books have a positive message for children.”
Drawing from her own experience of taking cancer treatments which a temporary hair loss, Goodman penned What Happened to Nana’s Hair?. In this book, when grandchildren visited their Nana, they were shocked to find her without hair and set about to help her find the best covers for her bald head. The intent of the book is to help children understand a health crisis and how families make the best of a situation they may experience with a family member.
Just in time for holiday gift giving, Goodman has recently released her fifth book, Mice at the Museum. Having become a volunteer at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center in Glasgow, Goodman decided to use her talent to give something back to the community. Thus, proceeds from Mice at the Museum go to the facility.
Readers familiar with the area will recognize the Water Street address of the family of mice who visit the local museum. With illustrations drawn from exhibits at the museum, Goodman weaves the story of the mice visiting the Victorian parlor, the military history displays, the log cabin, and even taking a look at the sewing machines used when the building was used as Glasgow Pants Factory.
“This book is dedicated to the children of the past, present, and future,” Goodman explained, noting her desire to pass on history while also being entertained.
Goodman’s books are available online at Amazon.com but area residents will have two opportunities to purchase signed copies of the books this weekend. On Friday, December 15, Goodman will hold a book signed at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center, 200 Water Street in Glasgow, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The following day on Saturday, December 16, she will be signing books from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Awards, Inc. on the Glasgow square. Potential readers can also learn more about her books on the Facebook page Peggy Goodman Books.