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?

Fine.

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.

 

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