50 Books: What Kinkade was aiming for

First, a shameless plug:  order today with standard shipping from my CafePress store, and get a free shipping upgrade so your items will arrive by December 24.

Doesn’t your beloved wife deserve some Dignaroos?  Or won’t you step up and protect her honor on her semi-annual Trip Outside the Home by furnishing her with this presumably finely-crafted aluminum Pants Pass?  Or some other ridiculous crap I threw together?


Then let’s retreat from crass materialism.  I hope everybody knows Tasha Tudor, whose gentle illustrations are always full of sweet grace and warmth.  They are what Thomas Kinkade and Precious Moments fail so wretchedly to capture:  simplicity, innocence, and the small joys of the family.  My favorite Tasha Tudor book is

a time to keep

A Time to Keep:  A  The Tasha Tudor Book of Holidays

Endlessly fascinating, this book takes you through a year of traditions and celebrations from the old days.  It makes you feel happy and nostalgic for things you aren’t actually old enough to remember.  I still feel, deep in the heart of me, that someday I will send a multi-layered birthday cake floating down the river for an evening party, or we will make our own tin can firecrackers to scare the corgis.  Some books that hearken to a simpler time make you feel melancholy and guilty when you’re done, as you compare your life to what you’ve read; but this book doesn’t have that effect.  I’m not even sure why.  Maybe because, like Norman Rockwell, she injects enough realism — skinned knees, chapped lips, burnt fingers — to remind you that life was never perfect; and that children are still children, and always will be.




    • Ah, the Dignerrieres. What happened was, I was afraid someone would buy them and actually wear them out of the house, and I believe that pants with words on the bum are an abomination. Then someone pointed out that they are made by American Apparel, which is a whole other kind of abomination. So I hiked up the price to save the joke, but make sure no one bought them. THEN, someone said, “No, it’s not the pants, it’s actually the Dignaroos (panties) that are made by American Apparel” and insisted that I make the price switch right away. Since I am a brat and don’t like being ordered around, I did nothing. So, there you are.

  1. oh thanks, I was just thinking about this book! Couldn’t remember the name. I might just get this for myself for Christmas. I just discovered her illustrations for The Night Before Christmas, which are of course lovely.

  2. I have a big Tasha Tudor book collection, and “A Time to Keep” is my favorite (birthday gift from my grandmother, 1976), but “A Doll’s Christmas” is my second favorite and well worth having. My mother has her original copy from her childhood and I finally bought one about ten years back since I kept wanting to steal it.

  3. My father collected Tasha Tudor’s books for me. My girls loved her stories; Becky’s birthday was an all time favorite, and featured the cake floating down the stream. A friend of mine executed many of the traditions in A Time to Keep, but the cake floated in some form of swimming pool.

  4. I am stoked for a WHOLE WEEKEND trip away from the kids to attend the husband’s military graduation, and I may just have to buy some dignaroos to celebrate the occasion. 😉

  5. I love this book! I’ve had it since I was a little girl, and I truly thought I was the only person who shad it, or had heard of it. Glad to see I’m not alone.

    Maybe I can harrumph about how I liked Tasha Tudor before she was cool.

  6. I’m so thrilled to find someone who understands and loves Tasha Tudor! Let me start by saying I found you through Housewifespice, and my name is Becky.

    My copy of Becky’s Birthday is autographed and cherished. My mom worked at Conner Prairie Pioneer Settlement in Indiana from the time I was 3 until I was about 13. It’s this amazing place that does 1st person historical interpretation. I grew up in the year 1836 (kind of) and I wanted to be in Tasha’s books. One of the ladies who worked with my mom became friends with Tasha and I was blessed to spend an afternoon with her.

    In case you don’t already know, she actually wore the clothes and lived (mostly) in the style and time that she illustrated. She was one of the gentlest and most lovely women I’ve ever had the privilege to spend time with. Two of my favorites, especially this time of year, are her Advent Calendar book, and a Doll’s Alphabet.

    Sorry to gush on your page, but when I mention Tasha, most people just look at me funny, so I had to write to someone else who sees her beauty and loves it. Now I have to go read Becky’s Christmas to my kids before bedtime tonight. Thanks for the reminder!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s