THE TEA PARTY IN THE WOODS by Akiko Miyakoshi is an amazing picture book story of a path, a party, a pie, and a parade through the snow.
Designed for ages 4-8, young Kikko sets out through the snow covered woods to catch up with her father who is on his way to Grandmother’s house. She’s carrying a pie for her grandma, but it’s smashed when she falls in the snow. Disoriented, she ended up at a large house and is invited to join a formally dressed party of animals for tea. All the forest animals contribute pieces to form a new pie she can take to grandmother’s house.
Unlike many forest tales that are filled with scary creatures, this story views the woods as an inviting place stocked with warm, caring animals and pie made of forest fruits and nuts.
The magical elements seems to rise naturally in this bridge between fantasy and reality. The soft charcoal drawings perfectly match the quiet story. The hint of color add to the appeal.
Librarians will find that both the illustrations and story will attract a wide range of children. The story’s focus on cooperation and problem solving will be particularly compelling for primary teachers.
To learn more about the author/illustrator, go to http://miyakoshiakiko.com/.
Published by Kids Can Press on August 1, 2015.