As the trees gradually don their brilliant hues of blazing reds, oranges and golden yellows, a crisp air blows throughout the terrain, powerfully signifying that autumn has descended upon New England. In the distance, a flock of southbound geese carry out their song to the sky, of departure for warmer climates. In response to this turning tide in seasons, New Englanders everywhere are lighting their wood stoves, sipping hot apple cider, and comfortable leafing through a rare literary favorite or two. Amongst those beloved literary treasures, Tasha Tudor’s delightful autumn tale, Pumpkin Moonshine is bound to be nestled, as a flickering vibrant flame from the fire bathes it in warmth and light.
The much beloved author and illustrator, Tasha Tudor was careful to always joyously observe all appropriate festivities pertaining to each approaching holiday, and Halloween was one holiday which was never overlooked. Tudor deemed Halloween so important, in fact, that her very first rare literary treasure was based on a tale of Halloween, Pumpkin Moonshine. Pumpkin Moonshine tells the tale of young Sylvie Ann, and her tremendous discovery of a very large pumpkin while visiting her grandparents’ farm. If any of Tudor’s works reflect the core of her loving and generous soul, Pumpkin Moonshine certainly does. Tudor had a sincere and honest love for children and childlike innocence, which is depicted through her use of the curious and inquisitive Sylvie Ann, whose wonder and awe at the world closely matches Tudor’s own. Tudor’s use of exquisite and endearing illustrations brings the wonderful work even more to life, beckoning both the young and old towards its incredible charm and beauty.
Strangely enough, the young author and illustrator was originally met with much resistance and dismissal upon presenting her newly completed book for publication. Publishers everywhere refused to print the lovely story, which would have rendered a very sorrowful loss to the world of rare literary works and those who love them. Finally, though, a newly hired editress at Oxford University Press named Eunice Blake saw the book’s enduring value, and with her wonderful tale, Tudor became a published author.
Today, original 1938 calico bound first editions of Pumpkin Moonshine are incredibly scarce and astronomically valuable. In fact, they are being sold for thousands of dollars. Tudor’s first work was published as a calico bound book, because she presented her manuscript to potential publishers wrapped in a piece of calico fabric. Tudor loved and took delight in all things nineteenth century, and binding her work in calico only served to powerfully represent who she was as a woman who yearned for the gentle and simple pleasures of a bygone era. Tudor’s publishers loved the wholesome calico bound look so much, that Tudor’s first five books continued to be published in the same manner. It is interesting and ironic to observe how significantly valuable Tudor’s first work has become and how famous and renowned she became, in spite of the fact that so many well-known publishers had originally rejected her very first work.
In keeping with traditional autumn observances, adding Tasha Tudor’s captivating tale of autumn nature and childlike wonder truly trumps them all. While leafing through Tudor’s world of life and love by the fire, perhaps you will even experience your own personal discovery. Tasha Tudor’s enthralling and alluring world is waiting……….