(B) Ages 4-8, Book Reviews, Boys, Picture Books, Raising Readers
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Three Tea Picture Books

My husband has observed that enjoying tea is a symbol of peace, and I agree. It is remarkable that so many children’s books feature teatime as an event or a detail in an illustration, inviting the reader to pause reflectively as the conflict in the story is either suspended or finally ended.

There are many wonderful children’s books that celebrate tea! Here are three of our family’s picture book favorites. We love them because the stories are well-written, the illustrations are nicely-done, and they fit perfectly in a houseful of little boys who happen to appreciate tea parties with real china teacups and homemade chai or lemon herbal tea with too much sugar. I’m already thinking of more tea books to share in the future, so stay tuned…

Tea RexTea Rex, written and illustrated by Molly Idle (Viking, 2013). Tea Rex is written as a tea party etiquette guide in which the pictures show so much more than the text suggests. When a prim little girl and her smartly dressed younger brother invite a tyrannosaurus rex for tea, the results are both disastrous and hilarious, with a delightful ending. Every time I read it I notice something new that makes me smile.

 

A Visitor for Bear (Bear and Mouse, #1)A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton (Candlewick, 2008). Bear is a curmudgeon, and Mouse is incorrigible. Bear wants to be left alone to make his breakfast in peace, but Mouse persists in showing up unexpectedly until they finally have a cup of tea together, and then…sorry, go read the book! I love the vocabulary, the crisp dialogue, the expressive illustrations, and the example of someone who insists on being a friend to the unlovable. Three more stories of Bear and Mouse are also available.

 

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad PigThe Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (McElderry Books, 1993). There are many variations on the traditional tale “The Three Little Pigs,” but my favorite is The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig. In this version, three cuddly wolves work together to build their house, starting with brick and increasing the strength and security of their construction material with every attack from the aggressive pig. Each time they barely escape with their china teapot intact, until they finally decide on an unconventional solution and end with a peaceful tea party.

 

For more topical lists of picture books, how about these themes: math recommendations from Janie, baseball books from Betsy, and a roundup of “just because” picture books. How about sharing these over a cup of our favorite tea and scones?

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4 Comments

  1. Oh, I am so glad to hear that there are other little boys who like tea!! For many years our family had tea time every Sunday afternoon! We had hot tea with sugar cubes (fun, and it controlled how much sugar they took:-) and real cream, and a finger food snack worthy of the Sabbath. We read ongoing novels that we only read on Sunday. Even as our boys got older (we had eight of them:), they still loved tea time and never hesitated to tell their friends about it! Many a time we had a skeptical teen boy or two join us, and we never heard them complain afterward. These days I have Fancy Nancy tea parties with my little girls, and sometimes we invite the big sisters (including those grown boys’ wives). Different teas for different seasons of life, but always a joy!! Someday I hope to inherit my 88 yo mother’s tea cup collection that she keeps on display, and we will actually have a tea party with them – my grandchildren and me:-)

  2. Betsy says

    We love sugar cubes, too! And my boys are just as gung ho about tea parties as their sister. Lovely choice of books, dear.

    I’ll throw out one more that’s about a tea set: Bargain for Frances. I didn’t think of it until just now, but we love it and the bargain centers on a certain tea set :-).

  3. Megan says

    Betsy, you gave away one of my ideas for a future post! 🙂 I can think of at least one more Easy Reader featuring tea…when I find more, I’ll put them together for a follow-up post on tea.

    Pat, thank you for your comments! We try to have tea on Saturday when Daddy is home (we’re all usually napping on Sunday afternoons). It’s a precious tradition!

  4. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: August 24, 2013 | Semicolon

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