A picture book about a tea party touches a special place in my heart, especially a tea party with marvelous, unexpected guests like in the PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) book I am reviewing today – The Tea Party in the Woods by award-winning, Japanese author/illustrator, Akiko Miyakoshi.
Since my daughter was three, we have enjoyed many imaginative tea parties up in her room. I spread a lace table cloth on her round play table, bring up a brimming tray of sweet treats, assortment of fruit and minty teas, my favorite vintage tea cups, a painted tea pot, a jar of honey, and decorative napkins. Then, I take my place at the table and anxiously await my surprise guest. Sometimes my daughter wears an outlandish hat and scarf and sunglasses and tells me she is a movie star from one of my favorite movies. Other times she carries a small handbag, slips her feet inside my wedding shoes, and enters as the Queen of England (speaking with an English accent). She joins me for high tea, and we pretend we’re the oldest and dearest of friends. Of course, we have oodles to catch up on. So having found the enchanting fairy tale picture book, The tea Party inthe Woods, I quickly added it to my bookshelf of very favorite picture books and chose to share it with you today for Perfect Picture Book Friday. I hope you will love this tender tale as much as I do.
Title – The Tea Party in the Woods – view on Amazon here.
Written and illustrated by – Akiko Miyakoshi
Published by – Kids Can Press – 2015
Suitable for ages – 3-7
Topics/Theme – Friendship, sharing, and kindness.
Opening – That morning, Kikko had awoken to a winter wonderland. It had snowed all night.
That morning, Kikko had awoken to a winter wonderland. It had snowed all night.
Now her father was off to Grandma’s house to help clear the walk.
“Is this the pie for Grandma?” Kikko asked her mother, spotting the box near the door.
“Oh, dear,” her mother said. “Your father forgot it.”
“I can still catch up to him,” said Kikko.
“All right, but hurry.”
Jacket copy – One snowy winter’s day, Kikko sets out to bring a pie to Grandma. When she happens upon a strange house in the woods, the most surprising guests invite her inside for a tea party. Kikko can hardly believe her eyes….
Amazon Review – When a young girl named Kikko realizes her father has forgotten the pie he was supposed to bring to Grandma’s house, she offers to try and catch him as he makes his way through the woods. She hurriedly follows her father’s footprints in the snow and happens upon a large house she has never seen before. Curious, Kikko peers through the window, when she is startled by a small lamb wearing a coat and carrying a purse. Even more surprising, the lamb speaks, asking her in a kind voice, ?Are you here for the tea party?? Suddenly, Kikko realizes her trip through the woods has turned into something magical.
Why do I like this book? I first discovered this book when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed. One of the writers I follow posted an illustration from The Tea Party in the Woods and, without knowing what the story was about, I ordered the book. Yup! One illustration by the very talented, Akiko Miyakoshi sold me. I knew If one picture could enchant me, a whole book filled with her beautiful and sensitively created illustrations would knock me head over heels with joy. And I was right. To increase the pleasure of this book, the story is an original fairy tale about possibility. Magical, surreal possibility. Akiko’s selective and minimalistic use of color directs the eye to special details in her illustrations. I can only believe that to create such thoughtful and tender images, she must have had an enchanted and lovely childhood.
Visit Akiko Miyakoshi here.
Discussion with children – The ambiguous ending of this fairy tale leaves the reader wondering whether Kikko imagined the tea party or if the animals disappeared back into the woods. This opens up a wonderful discussion with children on what they believe happened.
DIY Tea Party Hat craft projects to make with children.
No tea party could be complete without the addition of a party-perfect, tea party hat. Here are some DIY blog posts to get you started!
Decorative and fun-to-make-with-kids, newspaper and flower tea party hat HERE.
A paper-mache, floral, tea party hat HERE.
Unbelievably cute tea party hats from paper bowls, pipe cleaners and tissue paper HERE.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post. See you back here soon!