Remembering Ann K. Beneduce

Our dear friend Ann Beneduce, passed away March 18, 2021 at the age of 102. Ann first met Tasha in 1961 at J.B. Lippincott Co. and went on to edit twenty-one of Tasha’s books over the next 25 years. This work was made possible by the everlasting friendship between these two extraordinary women.

Ann was an editor of children’s books starting in 1957. She joined the J.B. Lippincott Co. in 1960. She subsequently held top posts at World Publishing Company, T.Y. Crowell, and the American subsidiary of William Collins Publishers before founding her own imprint, Philomel Books, as a division of the Putnam Publishing Group devoted to quality trade books for young readers. Over the years Ann also worked closely with Eric Carle, Mitsumasa Anno, Jane
Yolen, as well as illustrators Ed Young and Gennady Spirin. For more information about Ann’s career, please see this Publisher’s Weekly obituary.

Ann stands outside Tasha’s 1790s farmhouse in New Hampshire, happily making old-fashioned ice cream with a wooden freezer. Ann recalled that it was “impossible to be depressed or tired” around Tasha because her enjoyment of life was contagious.

Ann joined the Tasha Tudor Society as a founding board member in 2006, introducing the idea of creating a Chapter program in 2012.

Ann and her daughter Wendy at a New Jersey Chapter gathering of the Tasha Tudor Society.

Ann’s work and friendship with Tasha was featured in the Fall/Winter 2019 Journal Issue 12. We share it here in memory of our dear friend Ann. Please click on each image to enlarge.

A Partial List of Ann’s Projects

Ann authored, retold (adapted) or served as translator for the following:

I. Authored by Ann Keay Beneduce:

1) Letters from Tasha with Japanese translation by Masako Meshino. Publisher:  Media
Factory, 2009. Twenty-nine letters sent by Tasha to her dear friend and editor, with
explanatory text and remembrances by Ann.

2) A Weekend with Winslow Homer Publisher: Rizzoli, 1993. American painter Winslow Homer talks about his life and work as if entertaining the reader for the weekend. Includes reproductions of the artist’s works and a list of museums where they are on display.

II. Essays written by Ann Keay Beneduce:

1) The Art of Eric Carle [essay titled “It Takes the Practiced Hand”] Author: Eric Carle; Leonard S Marcus Publisher: Philomel Books, 1996 Portrait of the children’s author/illustrator, includes over sixty full-color illustrations from his books, examples of his student artwork, autobiographical information and photographs, and essays on his life and art by friends, critics, and colleagues.

2)  Window on Japan : Japanese Children’s Books and Television Today : Papers from a Symposium at the Library of Congress, November 18-19, 1987 by Sybille A Jagusch Publisher: Library of Congress, 1990. [essay titled “An Imagination-stretching Adventure: Editing the Works of Mitsumasa Anno in the U.S.A”]

III. Foreword written by Ann:

1) The 1972 Children’s Book Showcase by Atha Tehon Publisher: The Children’s Book Council, 1972.

IV. Exhibition catalogue by Ann Keay Beneduce:

1) The art of Mitsumasa Anno : Bridging Cultures : Adventures in Imagination Publisher: Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book art, 2003.

V. Retellings by Ann Keay Beneduce:

1) Moses: The Long Road to Freedom illustrated by Gennady Spirin Publisher: Orchard Books, 2004. [Translated into French, 2005; into Greek, 2004] Recounts the story of the Jewish leader Moses, from his birth until his leading of the slaves out of Egypt. Based on the Torah, Modern Commentary and the King James Bible.

2) Philipok by Leo Tolstoy Illustrated by Gennady Spirin; Publisher: Puffin Books, 2000. [Translated into German in 2002; into Italian, 2003; into French, 2007] Philipok’s mother has told him that he is too young to go to school, but one day he sets out to go on his own.

3) Jack and the Beanstalk illustrated by Gennady Spirin Publisher: Philomel Books, 1999. [Translated into French language by another, 2004] A boy climbs to the top of a giant beanstalk, where he uses his quick wits to outsmart an ogre and make his and his mother’s fortune.

4) Gulliver’s Adventures in Lilliput by Jonathan Swift Illustrated by Gennady Spirin Publisher: PaperStar, 1996.[Translated into German in 1993 & 1994, Danish and Norwegian in 1994; French by another in 1994 & 1996] An Englishman is shipwrecked in a land where the people are only six inches tall.

5) The Tempest by William Shakespeare Retold by Ann Keay Beneduce; illustrated by Gennady Spirin
Publisher: Philomel Books, 1996. [Translated into French language by another, 1996; into German, 1999; into Russian, 2021] Picture book adaptation of Shakespeare’s play of magic and enchantment in which Ferdinand and Miranda, the children of deadly enemies, meet and fall in love, melting the hardened hearts of their fathers

VI. Translator into English for:

1) Petit Claude: The Orphan of Auschwitz and His French Rescuers: A True Story 1938-1945 by Agnès Holzapfel Publisher: Xlibris, 2000.

2) A Weekend with Leonardo da Vinci by Rosabianca Skira-Venturi Publisher: Rizzoli, 1993.

3) A Weekend with Velázquez by Florian Rodari Publisher: Rizzoli, 1993.

Further reading:

Over the years Ann also worked closely with Eric Carle, Mitsumasa Anno, Jane Yolen, as well as illustrators Ed Young and Gennady Spirin.

Still Hungry After All These Years Publisher’s Weekly February 5, 2009

Building Collections, Three new museums provide permanent homes for children’s books and art Publisher’s Weekly April 16, 2001

IN PERSON; The World of His Imagination New York Times Dec. 7, 1997

Invention and Discoveries: An Interview with Ann K. Beneduce by Leonard S Marcus The Lion and the Unicorn Johns Hopkins University Press Volume 7/8, 1983-1984

Ann Keay Beneduce profile Prabook

Consulting Curator, Jeanette Chandler Knazek contributed to this article.

Year in Review: 2020

In March, as the pandemic took hold, a post with a photograph of Tasha Tudor went viral on Facebook. Why? Tasha embodies fortitude and perseverance, and the post brought strength and inspiration to those needing support during difficult times. 

Here is just a sampling of what we’ve been up to over the past year:

We’ve produced two 20-page, full-color issues of The Journal of the Tasha Tudor Society, thanks to our supporters who made this gift to each other! The Fall/Winter issue featured a look at Tasha’s love of literature as revealed by her library, a subject suggested by a member. As Tasha said, “There are certain books that you enjoy as a child, but when you read them again as an adult you find there’s nothing to them. But then there are others that you get just as much pleasure out of.” 

Sharing Tasha’s New England legacy, we recorded an interview with the Brattleboro (Vermont) Words Project, to be released in 2021 as part of the Brattleboro Words Trail, an audio trail enjoyable from anywhere in the world.

The Society also presented our work to Marlboro, VT residents through a virtual meeting facilitated by the Marlboro Community Center. Townspeople shared recollections of Tasha, including her drawing demonstrations at the annual town fair; inviting local children over to try on her antique dresses; marionette shows; Stillwater parties and much more.

Around the country, Tasha Tudor Society chapters found safe ways to celebrate what would have been Tasha’s 105th birthday in August, embodying her spirit of ‘Taking Joy’ in the deep connections chapter members have made.

The Pacific Northwest Chapter’s Valentine meeting (before the pandemic.)

All year long, we share Tasha’s illustrations on social media, injecting bits of brightness and peace into an often charged atmosphere. Though we mourned postponing Phase II of our W.O.R.L.D. Storywalk project in this tumultuous year, we are grateful for all the joy and delight we were able to share.

Illustration from Tasha’s 1961 book Becky’s Christmas.

We extend our full gratitude for your support this year. We send our very best wishes for a Happy New Year.

Last Chance for Issue #14

If you’re excited to read the Fall/Winter issue of the Journal of the Tasha Tudor Society, we remind you to join or renew your membership, starting at $35, today! 

With the pandemic canceling so many of our events, we need your help in raising the last $1300 today, November 1st. Can you help us share Tasha’s world of peace and contentment? 

Make a donation today, and you’ll also enjoy our adorable 2020 Membership gifts before they’re gone (scroll below to see them). Please go to our Levels and Benefits Page for more details.

In appreciation, 
The Tasha Tudor Society

P.S. Membership current up to Nov. 1st? No worries, you’ll be on the mailing list for Issue #14. If you have a question about your membership, e-mail

Get Ready for Journal Issue #14!

If you’re as excited as we are to read the Fall/Winter issue of the Journal of the Tasha Tudor Society, here’s your reminder to join or renew your membership on or before November 1! 

As the days grow shorter and colder, isn’t it nice to have a reason to come indoors and enjoy a quiet moment to ourselves? Tasha’s world of peace and contentment will be arriving in your mailbox by late November. The next issue of our ad-free, full-color, 100% member-supported, printed Journal contains:

  • Have you ever wished you could spend an afternoon in Tasha’s home library? Enjoy the feature article about her library, by member request.
  • Photographer Richard Brown’s memories of his time with Tasha.
  • Chapter activities
  • Book Anniversaries
  • Your letters and more!

Your donations help make the Journal happen, so we send many thanks to all our generous 2020 donors. We couldn’t share Tasha’s inspiration without you!

Make a donation today, and you’ll also enjoy our adorable 2020 Membership Benefit gifts before they’re gone (scroll below to see them). Please go to our Levels and Benefits Page for more details.

In appreciation, 
The Tasha Tudor Society

P.S. Membership current up to Nov. 1st? No worries, you’ll be on the mailing list. If you have a question about your membership, e-mail

Letter from the Director June 2020

Given the worldwide events this spring and unsure of where Tasha Tudor would fall on the spectrum of necessities, we reduced operational expenses by delaying projects and reducing staff hours. We proposed printing the Summer Journal for half the cost by reducing the page count and printing it in less costly black and white instead of four color ink.

We are so pleased and humbled to report that 162 donors from all over the U.S. and three countries read that proposal, resoundingly rejected it and gave a total of nearly $12,000; almost twice the amount of our fall membership drive, and three times the April 2019 drive. Your gift to one another is a reinstated 20 page, full color edition of the Journal of the Tasha Tudor Society!

Illustration from Tasha’s 1944 Mother Goose

With so many people out of work, and non-profits worldwide hurting for funds, we feared the worst for our programs — but you, our members, chose to include Tasha Tudor and the comfort, solace and inspiration she provides, among your giving.

Thank you for being a member,


Amy Tudor


New Jersey Families Enjoy Tasha Tudor’s Holiday Traditions

The Tasha Tudor Society’s mission is to connect people through the world created by Tasha, and our chapters do an incredible job of bringing Tasha’s world to life for people young and old.

Last week, New Jersey families flocked to the Hamilton Township Library for Story Hour where Deborah Walker, Outreach Coordinator for the Society’s New Jersey Chapter presented a program called “The Animals’ Christmas” for local preschoolers. Children and adults alike enjoyed hearing about the charming and unusual ways that Tasha included her animals in her holiday preparations and festivities. After the presentation, the children decorated paper trees with animal sticker ornaments.

This was just one of many Society chapter events held around the country this holiday season. Because of the work of our chapters, every day more and more people are introduced to the special magic of Tasha’s world and welcomed into her circle of kindred souls.

If you’d like to learn more about Society chapter events and activities or to find some near you, visit our website’s Events page. And if you think you might like to start a chapter in your area, click here to download application materials.

Tasha’s Birthday: A StoryWalk® Celebration!

Photo by Kelly Fletcher

On a breezy, warm, Vermont August morning, 45 children and adults gathered at the picnic pavilion in Molly Stark State Park to celebrate what would have been Tasha’s 104th birthday. 

Photo by Kelly Fletcher

Angela Yakovleff, Pettee Memorial Library’s youth librarian led us in an opening song, then guided us all along the trail of Tasha’s pages. The kids giggled at the idea of a duck swimming in a dish, exuberantly told us how many sisters they themselves have, and ran through the grass to be the first to find the next page in the series. When the walk and story were finished, we blew out a candle for Tasha all together, and shared mini chocolate cupcakes in her honor.

Photo by Kelly Fletcher

Next, the children were given a list of natural items to find…one blade of grass as long as your hand, two acorns, three pebbles, four pieces of bark from the ground, etc. When they had collected all ten items, they made their own counting books with simple template books that we made ahead and bound with sticks and hemp.

It was a magical morning and a great pilot event for our newest initiative, the Tasha’s W.O.R.L.D project (Walk Outside, Read, Learn, Discover). We are looking forward to taking the next steps, collaborating with educators, artisans and naturalists, creating free curriculum and making these events and materials available worldwide!

Photo by Kelly Fletcher

Special thanks to Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT, creator of The StoryWalk® Project developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Celebrate Tasha’s Birthday with StoryWalk®!

Join us on August 26th at 10:30am for a Tasha Tudor StoryWalk® in Molly Stark State Park in Wilmington, VT. The Tasha Tudor Society in partnership with Pettee Memorial library, will present “1 is One” to commemorate what would have been Tasha’s 104th birthday. Come walk along with us as we read this Caldecott Honor book and discover Tasha’s counting treasures. We’ll have nature-based, Tasha-inspired activities for kids of all ages and a birthday snack. This is a family-friendly event, and grown-up kids are welcome too! All are welcome and admission is free. Meet at the picnic pavilion.

This event is a pilot for the Tasha Tudor Society’s new project collaborating with local educators, artisans and experts, as well as with libraries across the U.S., to promote literacy, exercise and appreciation of nature. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing all the details, so stay tuned!

Tasha Tudor Day Celebrations

from Tasha’s 1956 Caldecott Honor book 1 is One

Eleven years ago, Tasha Tudor admirer Clarice Fox-Hughes of the Storybook Woods blog, dubbed Tasha Tudor’s August 28th birthday Tasha Tudor Day. She said ““Really I would love it if the whole world would stop and remember her. This could simply be sitting in your garden with a cup of tea, reading her books, doing a sketch or just stopping to smell the roses. On Tasha Tudor’s birthday, let us all remember her and how she has inspired us to live.” Her idea caught on and people the world over began celebrating Tasha’s birthday.

This year, on what would have been Tasha Tudor’s 104th birthday, we encourage you to reflect on what Tasha’s life meant to you. You may wish to pull out her books, whether you have one title or a large pile, and sink into their pages once again. Perhaps make a pot of tea and take a moment to look upon all the good in your life with Tasha’s example of ‘taking joy.’

Or if you prefer a more lively celebration, gather friends and loved ones to make a craft, enjoy cake, ice tea and watch the documentary Take Joy.

If you are fortunate to live near one of our existing Chapters, you are invited to join in the festivities. Remember, you do not need to be a member to participate.

The following Tasha Tudor Society events are scheduled this year:

~August 24 Yamanashi, Japan Tasha Tudor’s birthday celebration at the Tasha Tudor Museum Japan

~August 24 Medford, NJ A celebration of Tasha’s birthday

~August 24 Macedon, NY ECHOES OF HER VOICE: Inspired by the Joys of Tasha Tudor program

~August 26 Wilmington, VT “1 is One” Storywalk® Debut

~August 28 Lititz, PA High tea at A Tea Affair to celebrate Tasha’s birthday

For more information about each event, please visit our Events page.

Tasha was known for saying she had no message to share. She was essentially simply living her ideal life which has made a world of difference to countless millions.

A Tasha Tudor Storybook Trail

Imagine a beautiful, family-friendly, public walking trail lined with the pages of one of Tasha’s most beloved children’s stories, accessible to all and free of charge. This was the vision of Carol Elaine Deys, chapter leader for the Tasha Tudor Society’s Finger Lakes Western New York Chapter, with her local library. Last fall, that vision became a reality.

Macedon families enjoy reading “1 is One” while walking along their new Storybook Trail

The Macedon Public Library’s Storybook Trail was erected at the Macedon Canal Park – Lock #30 in October, 2018. Permanent display structures built by community members, Roger Hotel and Richard Deys, Sr., were placed along the walking trail to hold the pages of each chosen book. The first book selected for display was Tasha Tudor’s “1 Is One.” Since then, the trail and Tasha’s story have been enjoyed by countless Macedon residents and was even made an element of Macedon’s community Easter celebration this spring. According to Library Director, Stacey Wicksall, Tasha’s work is so harmonious with the trail’s natural surroundings that they plan to stay with the Tudor theme and display an ongoing series of her books there.

A springtime walk along Macedon’s new storybook trail

The Tasha Tudor Society was so inspired by this chapter’s project that we are developing a new Tasha Tudor StoryWalk® program to be launched next month. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting collaboration with Vermont educators, artisans and experts as well as libraries across the United States.