Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tasha Tudor, Children's Author and Artist

Today we remember Tasha Tudor on her birthday. She was an extraordinary woman. A talented artist, she enjoyed nature themes and shunned modern conveniences. She is probably best known for her contribution to children's literature. She illustrated each of her books with her beautiful watercolor and drew people to her wherever she went.

Beloved Tasha Tudor, author and illustrator of many books and gardener extraordinaire, passed away at her home in Marlboro, Vermont on July 18, 2008. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 28, 1915 and was named after her father, Starling Burgess. But her father, who enjoyed Tolstoy's War and Peace preferred to call her Natasha after a character in the book. Her mother's friends would sometimes refer to her as Rosamund Tudor's daughter. Tasha liked the sound of the name Tasha Tudor, and eventually had her name legally changed to reflect this preference. 

Ms. Tudor received many awards and honors for her exceptional contribution to literature. A Caldecott Honor was given for her work for Mother Goose in 1945 and again in 1957 for the book 1 is One. She also received the Regina Medal in 1971 for her contributions to children's literature. Her prose was always simple and captivating, frequently including rhyming text. Enchanting illustrations were detailed and realistic in soft colors that seemed to fade away onto the page. She was known for her love of nature and flowers, birds, and other charming animals were frequently featured in her art. 

Some of the books she wrote and illustrated are:

Pumpkin Moonshine
A Tale for Easter
Snow before Christmas
Thistly B
The Dolls' Christmas
Edgar Allan Crow
Amanda and the Bear
A is for Annebelle
1 is One
A Time to Keep
Corgiville Fair
Tasha Tudor's Seasons of Delight
The Great Corgiville Kidnapping

Tasha Tudor was one of the great artists of the 20th century. Her love for illustrating New England nostalgia and sentimental illustrations that made one think of a bygone era. She lived her life as she dreamed, simply and sustainably, preferring the old-fashioned in both lifestyle and dress. For 92 years the world was blessed by her presence and contribution to American culture, literature, and art. Although she is gone from us now, her legacy and spirit will live on through the work she so fluently contributed to all. 

The photographs today are taken from one of my favorite booksTasha Tudor's Garden by Tovah Martin and Richard W. Brown.

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