Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: The Tea Party in the Woods
Publish February 16, 2016
Not everything is as it first appears in Akiko Miyakoshi’s beautifully surreal picture book, The Tea Party in the Woods. The story begins in familiar fairy tale territory, with a little girl en route to her grandmother’s house with a sweet treat, but as Kiko walks through the forest, she follows in what she believes to be her father’s footprints. The path leads to a mysterious abode, and when the child peeks through the window, she is startled to spy a nattily dressed bear, instead of her father. More surprises are in store for Kiko, as she is warmly invited to a festive tea party, hosted by debonair animals in three-piece suits. These new friends gift Kiko with a homemade, wild berry pie and escort her safely to her grandmother’s house. Miyakoshi’s charcoal pencil illustrations capture the quiet grandeur of a snowy day. There is a textured, tactile quality to the elegant, black and white images of rough-barked trees, and fuzzy, fluffy winter coats. Splashes of bright colour, such as Kiko’s red woollen hat and mittens, and festive red and yellow party bunting enliven the pages. Mystery abounds in the subdued, evocative text, and in the atmospheric artwork, making The Tea Party in the Woods a literary adventure to remember.
ISBN 13: 978-1-77138-107-9
Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library. Her reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, School Library Journal and CM: Canadian Review of Materials. When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.
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