31 Days: Pumpkin Moonshine

I feel like it’s necessary at this point to state emphatically that I am not suggesting you brew any sort of liquor out of pumpkins. Instead, I think you should read this classic Tasha Tudor book, which has an unusual name.

Pumpkin Moonshine

Like all of Tasha Tudor’s books, Pumpkin Moonshine is set in a vaguely 19th century New England world, though it was originally published well into the 20th century. In this story, a little girl named Sylvie finds the perfect pumpkin. In order to get it home, she employs inventive methods to travel across the fields. In so doing, she disrupts many a contented farm animal, and causes a small amount of chaos. Finally, she finds her grandfather, and he solves the problem of the runaway pumpkin by carving it into a ‘pumpkin moonshine,’ which you and I would probably call a jack o’lantern.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that Sylvie wants her pumpkin moonshine to be ‘fierce and horrid,’ with the goal of scaring people on Halloween night. That language aside, the face is not frightening, and the story is so charming that I don’t think it would be scary to most children.

This is a great book for a short conversation about regional and dialectical differences in language, and a sweet addition to any discussion about farm life. I was delighted to find it still in print and available, because so many of Tudor’s books are inaccessibly priced for non-collectors. For more information about Tasha Tudor’s life and work, visit this site, run by her descendents, who are working hard to preserve her legacy.

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For more great children’s book ideas, click on the picture below.

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