Tasha Tudor “A Time to Keep”

Posted by Sooz on Thursday, September 1, 2011 | 2 Comments


When I was a child I was charmed and delighted by the poignant artwork of Tasha Tudor. Her pencil and watercolor drawings were  soft, playful, childlike, and enchanting. I would try to replicate the banners that she used to frame her pages, intertwining tiny flowers, birds, garden tools and nests. Her approach to art made me feel that she was, in fact, a child who had somehow managed to find herself living in an adult’s body.

The pictures and stories of Tasha’s real life made me certain that she was indeed a child lost in the world of adults. She played wonderful games with her children, while barefoot, in the park! She built a magnificent dollhouse replete with every household gadget imaginable. If they didn’t sell it – she had it made, replicating her own furniture, wallpaper, and roasting oven. She had a postal service for her children run by “sparrows.” The children could choose clothes for their dolls from a catalog she designed and illustrated. And what did they use for currency? Well, buttons, of course. To top it all off, the whole family wrote and starred in the most amazing marionette shows you have ever seen. Together they made all of the props, backdrops, and puppets themselves, then put on shows for their neighbors. Once they even hosted a marionette wedding which was featured in a national magazine. To me, this life was every child’s dream.

Every child longs to be loved, celebrated, and enjoyed. In Tasha’s world everything was made for children and had a magical quality to it. It was a world of creativity and joy, where children were valued and celebrated equally with adults.

One of the many books Tasha wrote pays tribute to the holidays that they celebrated as family each year. Each month features a celebration and tradition reaching back into the childhood of Tasha herself. The book is entitled, “A Time to Keep.” It moves gently from January to December and each month shares a quote, softly detailed drawings, illustrations and text about the events of the month. I find the book delightful.

Even as an adult I long to make things with my hands, celebrate the people I love, and live a life fit for a child. I love making fairy houses out of sticks, stones, bark and shells. I love to string paper chains across the dining room and plan tea parties. There is a Goodness that comes from being “little” with your children. They delight in seeing adults be silly and joyful. There is a Goodness that comes from “staying little” and delighting in things that a child would enjoy.

My question for you is, do you enjoy your children? Do you enjoy your life? Do you let yourself be young at heart? There have been many times when I would have had to answer “no” to one or all of these.  But as I grow older, I realize more and more the importance and Goodness of being “little.”

Take a look at this beautiful website sponsored by friends and kindred spirits of Tasha Tudor. It will inspire and encourage you!


Check out Tasha’s book, “A Time to Keep” at the library or order it online at www.tashatudorandfamily.com. Begin to create traditions and celebrations that bring joy to you and those you love. Let yourself “be little” and find your inner giggle. You won’t regret it!

A Good Idea:

If you are out of practice being “little,” try finger painting. It is a sure-fire way to recall the joy of being a kid. Plan one event in the near future that will connect you with a tradition or celebration you love. Find new ways to celebrate that make you happy!

2 Responses

  1. James Trundy Verrill says:

    Love Tasha Tudor too — she lived a good and connected life — She was also a phenomenal business woman ! and for her trips to NYC to deal with business looked nothing like the homebody we think of! One of my favorite illustrations by Tasha Tudor is a Christmas scene with tree and children etc.. and then under the floor boards the mouse family is shown with their tree celebrating Christmas !!!

  2. Angela Sadler says:

    Tasha Tudor is my very favorite children’s illlustrator!! We have an old Garden of Verses that brings me joy to read and study the pictures. This post truly hit home, as my constant challenge is to slow down and enjoy my children! Thanks for the reminder.

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