Friday, October 5, 2012

First Friday Tasha Tudor Book Review

As many of you know, I am a Tasha Tudor fan, actually, a Tasha Tudor nut! I love her work and my interest in Tasha came to me through her books and her art work. Having been a primary school teacher, I have a great love of children's literature.
I belong to an internet group on Yahoo called Take Peace. While Tasha was living, there was always something for the group to chat about and that kept our interest. After she passed away in 2008, our group has lost some of it's sparkle and really has become like a lot of other chat but not always centered on Tasha. I have met many friends through this group, but I miss the emphasis and information about Tasha.
So, I have been thinking about this and with my husband's encouragement, I have decided to talk about one of her books every month~First Friday Tasha Book Review! I am not an expert, but there is a lot of information out there and I know I'm going to enjoy just revisiting all my books too. It is my wish that as others discover my adventure, they might share some information or comment on what they like about a particular book.
Since it is autumn and my favorite season, it seemed perfect to start with Tasha's first book.....

Tasha Tudor met her first husband, Thomas Mc Cready, in 1936 and they married in 1938. Sylvie Ann was her husband's niece who came to visit every year from Scotland. She spent time visiting her grandmother in Connecticut and while she was visiting, Tasha made a sweet little book for her.
It begins in the most charming way...."A wee story to a very sweet wee person". She illustrated little sheets only 3" x 3" and bound them together with a calico cloth. Little Sylvie Ann wants to find a pumpkin in the field to turn into a Pumpkin Moonshine! She takes the little dog Wiggy with her and off the go, way up the hill where the cornfield and the pumpkins are. The pumpkin gets away from them and well, read the book! I understand that she asked for the book back as she wanted to get it published. Her first efforts failed, much like the story of Beatrix Potter. She tried a second time with the New York publishers and crossed paths with a new editor at the  Oxford University Press, Eunice Black. It was published in 1938.
The first edition was covered with a blue and white fabric and the orange label gives you the name of the book. There are other books in this little series referred to as the Calico Books. They include Alexander the Gander, Dorcus Porkus, Lindsey Woolsey, and The County Fair.
In 1993, The Jenny Wren Press published a hardback edition to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the book.
My copy is a fairly recent edition, but it is a treasure because it is signed by Tasha.

Here's a few of the illustrations from the book.

Do you have a copy of this book? Is it a favorite? Can you share some more information about it?
Happy Fall, Happy Pumpkin Moonshine!


Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Linda,
Believe it or not, I never heard tell of Tasha until I started blogging. Being a Canadian might have something to do with it, I'm not sure. I love her stories and drawings! I come from a family of artists so I do appreciate her talent very much. She had such a whimsical quality in all that she put her hand to and I love that.
I'm sure this little book is delightful.
Thank you for your visit and your sweet comment. Have a wonderful weekend.


Denise said...

Thank you Linda.I'm a beginner when it comes to collecting her books.I'm going to enjoy your discussions,it's a wonderful idea.I'm excited about learning more.Yes,I'm feeling so much better :)

Liz said...

Hi Linda,
So nice to meet you. I'm here from Bernideen's Open House. I have only heard of Tasha Tudor from Victoria Magazine many years ago. I remember they did an article about her before she died. I thought what a fascinating character she must have be. I'm interested to hear more! :)
I'm your newest follower!


Susan said...

What a great idea to do a review of one of Tasha's books monthly, Linda. I never read Pumpkin Moonshine but loved your review.

Oh! Do Becky's Christmas sometime, will you? I LOVED that book. Have been looking for it at used book sales for years. No luck . But that book changed the way I celebrated Christmas!

Okay, take care and have a wonderful Sunday. Susan

La Tea Dah said...

A lovely post! I think I will go find my Tasha Tudor books and put some of them on my coffee table for fall.

My mother was a primary teacher too --- and she's the one who drew Tasha Tudor to my attention. Mother used her books in her classroom --- and she was a painter/watercolor/oils --- so she had a special appreciation for Tasha's art.

I look forward to future book reviews.

Linda said...

I look forward to this series. I never get tired of hearing about Tasha. I don't have any of her children's books but dd has a few.