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Georgia ABC's

Front cover image of Georgia ABC’s (UNG Press, 2019). Background: A drawn map of Georgia is colored in green. Foreground: Brown thrashers, a black bear, a gopher tortoise, and a green tree frog sit on the word “ABC’s”. Milo, a black dog, hides behind the title.


Chris Jespersen, Ph.D.


Josie Toney

Hardback Version



Paperback Version




Brown thrashers Nash and Nell explore Georgia on their search to find Milo, the playful dog who loves to hide. From the Okefenokee Swamp to the poultry capital of the world, join the state animals and travel around Georgia. Will you help Nash and Nell find Milo?

Explore Georgia’s curiosities and wonders with this story in verse that will help even the most reluctant reader learn their ABC’s. Mixed-media illustrations will spark children’s imagination as they also learn about Georgia’s geography and history.

About the Author

Chris Jespersen has been a long-time reader of children’s books, ever since his two sons started learning to read. Chris and his wife, Anita Nucci, adopted Milo from the Atlanta Humane Society’s Mansell Road location when he was just a puppy. Milo enjoys swimming in the Chattahoochee river in the summer, a good squeaky toy, chasing squirrels, and herding the occasional deer.

Chris Jespersen is also a professor of American diplomatic history in the Department of History, Anthropology, and Philosophy at the University of North Georgia (UNG). He has served as dean of the College of Arts & Letters since 2005. He has written and edited books on U.S. diplomatic history in addition to publishing various journal articles. Georgia ABC’s is his first children’s book.

About the Illustrator

A sixth generation Atlantan, Josie Vrooman Toney is a self-taught artist with a surrealistic, whimsical style. Her work is comprised of a variety of mediums including acrylic, pastels, watercolor, marker, color pencil, and graphite.

Josie was a born artist and began painting consistently in 2002. In 2016, Josie and her family relocated to north Georgia where she became an active member of the Chestatee Artists, the Bowen Center for the Arts, and the Sautee Nacoochee Cultural Center. Her work can be found in local galleries and boutiques, including Elevate Sautee, Inside Out Sautee, Jumpin’ Goats Coffee, and Yonah Mountain Village, as well as the gift shop in the Bowen gallery.

Josie resides in Cleveland, Georgia with her supportive husband, adorable son, two dogs, a cat, and several chickens. She has a passion for education and works full-time at the University of North Georgia (UNG) in Dahlonega. In her spare time, Josie enjoys yoga, the outdoors, drawing, painting, and spending time with her family.

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