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Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor

Pumpkin Moonshine (1938)

by Tasha Tudor

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220279,226 (3.81)8



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Some beautiful vocabulary words (I love the 'enraged geese') and, of course, utterly delightful art. But awfully syrupy, imo. I think it would succeed as part of a family Halloween party, as children are more receptive to old-fashioned traditions during holidays, but I wouldn't try to bring it out as just a random fall book. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
First published in 1938, this little gift-size book has old-fashioned country charm and is a pleasant seasonal tale that some children will like and some may find too dull. People who love the art of Tasha Tudor, as I do, are in for a little treat.

Executed in ink and water colors, Pumpkin Moonshine tells a short little tale of Tudor's niece Sylvie Ann as she goes out to select a big pumpkin for Halloween. Sylvie Ann and her little dog, Wiggy, climb a hill to the cornfield where the pumpkins are growing. They find a big one and start to roll it home as if it were a big snow-ball. As they head back down the hill the pumpkin gets away from them and speeds into the farmyard scaring some goats, chickens, and geese and finally, bumps into the hired hand causing him to spill a bucket of whitewash. Finally, Sylvie Ann's grandfather, who you can tell by his style of dress is a New England gentleman farmer, helps her carve the pumpkin into a "Pumpkin Moonshine", otherwise known as a Jack-o-Lantern. They put a candle inside and enjoy the grinning face. Sylvie Ann saves the seeds and plants them in the cornfield in the spring.

The story is a bit on the dull side, folks. Really, really passive little children might like it, but I don't think it will be on anyone's request list. The illustrations save it from being totally boring though and they are the reason I can recommend it. The story is intended for the 4-8 year old group and has very few words in the text, however, it is not an easy reader. It is meant to be read to a child. It has hard words like dreadful, enraged, horrid that this age group is not likely to be able to read.

Born in 1915, Tasha Tudor lives in a bygone world of New England country charm and is deeply attuned with its rhythms and nuances. In her many, many delightful story books she has always faithfully captured this world and shared it. Pumpkin Moonshine upholds that tradition. Little Sylvie Ann is as cute as can be in her bonnet and pinafore and gingham dress. The corn shocks in the field and the autumn leaves blowing about the old fieldstone walls have a feeling of authenticity. The barnyard animals and the little dog faithfully capture Tudor's love for animals that is evident in all of her work. However, unlike some of her later work that is very rich in detail, this book's illustrations are very simple and failed to engage me in the way I have come to expect from this wonderful artist.
That being said, I can still recommend this book, especially to collectors or fans of Tasha Tudor. I like it because it is quaint and pretty. It is a little treat not a bountiful feast. I honestly don't think it will please too many kids. ( )
  Treeseed | Mar 4, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689828462, Hardcover)

Halloween is coming, and Sylvie Ann wants to make a pumpkin moonshine (or jack-o'-lantern), so she sets out across her Grandmummy and Grandpawp's cornfields to find "the very finest and largest pumpkin." Once she finds it, the problem is how to get it home. This fine, large pumpkin is so big, Sylvie Ann can't carry it. So she rolls it across the field, like a snowball in winter, until she reaches the edge of the field where the ground slopes down. And suddenly, the pumpkin begins running away down the hill! Can Sylvie catch it before it frightens the goats, terrifies the hens, enrages the geese, and bumps into Mr. Hemmelskamp who is carrying a pail full of whitewash?

Those who don't know the denouement to this more than 60-year-old classic by two-time Caldecott Honor artist Tasha Tudor will not be surprised to find a happy ending to this exquisite, gentle story. Tudor's delicate orange-framed watercolors of a rural autumn and a bonneted little girl speak to a softer side of Halloween--one that is not overtaken by werewolves, blood, and gore, but is a reminder of the season in all its fresh abundance. Tasha Tudor has over 90 books to her credit, including The Dolls' Christmas and Caldecott Honor book, 1 Is One. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:46 -0400)

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While visiting her grandparents' farm, Sylvie Ann finds a fine large pumpkin for Halloween but it leads her a merry chase as it rolls faster and faster down the hill and into the barnyard.

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