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Out of New England

by Tasha Tudor

tudor_pumpkin moonshineThe memories of New England spring and summer, of fall and of winter, were the beginning of my pictures and stories.

The first warm days of spring when we children found delicate Dutchman’s Breeches in our enchanted glen, of sailing leaf-boats, laden with golden Marsh Marigolds, down the brook, of days spent on the pond below the cow pasture watching peepers and painted ladies sunning themselves, of polliwogs wriggling in the warm water at the pond’s edge, of the unforgettable moment when we found the first Lady Slipper in the sun-flecked birch woods, of goslings and baby chicks.

Summer with its heat and warm mud-puddles to delight bare toes, of wild strawberries and sunbonnets and root beer, of haying, and milking the cows.

Autumn, and wild geese flying, blue grapes and golden leaves.

Winter, and still evenings, and being read to ‘til way past bed-time, of getting wrinkled apples from the cellar, of the attic, of old dresses and bonnets and spinning wheels, and over all this the mystery of those rolling hills, and the smells and sounds and sights that are New England. This was the background of my books.

Ever since I can remember I drew pictures, and was taught and encouraged by my mother who is a painter.

I just drew pictures to catch the memory of some special moment, and cherished the thought of someday making illustrations for books.

Then came Sylvie Ann from far-away England, the niece of the boy who married me. To her sweetness Pumpkin Moonshine was written, but to my mother and my husband, and those blue and misty hills, I owe any success I have ever gained.

Tasha Tudor is in private life Mrs. Thomas MacCready. In addition to the Christmas picture story, Snow Before Christmas, she is the author of Alexander the Gander, The Country Fair, Pumpkin Moonshine, and A Tale for Easter. From the November 1941 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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