It's High Time for Teatime

To our immense joy here at Stark Library, January is National Hot Tea Month! To celebrate one of our favorite hot beverages, we’ve asked one of our librarians to pull together a list of her favorite tea-themed books that you can get from your local Stark Library branch or online from our digital library.

Terrific Tea Parties for Tiny People

While you might not want to give the small children in your life a ton of caffeine, you definitely should get them some books about tea. And thankfully, picture books feature lots and lots of tea parties, usually accompanied by lessons about friendship and family. So prepare for some adorable wholesomeness, y’all.

Phoebe Dupree is Coming to Tea by Linda Ashman

PhoebeDupree

Have you met Phoebe--Miss Phoebe Dupree? Phoebe's as perfect as perfect can be and (oh my goodness) she’s going to be Abby’s guest at tea! I never thought to find a children’s book about the anxiety of trying to host a *perfect* get together for someone you want to impress, but here it is! You’ll relate deeply to Abby as she tries so hard to get everything exactly right. But when life (and her dog Louie) throws some unexpected curveballs into the mix, Abby learns that maybe she doesn’t need a perfect tea party to have a wonderful time with her friend. I particularly love the fact that Abby wants to impress Phoebe not because of her popularity or looks, but because Phoebe is good at science and art and singing. With lovely bright pastel illustrations as well as a rhythm and rhyme scheme as sweet as buttercream, you and the small ones in your life will both enjoy this charming read-aloud.

Daddy Lion’s Tea Party by Mark Sperring

"One bright, sunny day, Daddy Lion reached for his favorite teapot and smiled at the lion cubs. ’Today is the PERFECT day for a quiet little tea party’". But the lion cubs are not fans of quiet tea parties. They much prefer BIG NOISY ones! After going through how no, we cannot, under any circumstances, invite the other animals to tea, a miniature game of telephone ensues thanks to Elephant’s big ears, ostrich’s head being in the sand, and Parrot’s loud mouth. But when the zoo animals arrive on their best behavior, some nosy humans find their behavior a bit suspect. How does it end? You’ll have to read it to find out for yourself! While I’m personally more like Daddy Lion and partial to quieter tea parties, even the most introverted will enjoy the absurdities of this book. The animals all have such great personalities, too! One for reading with your best fun voices.

Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

Kikko’s father has forgotten the pie for her grandmother! Donning her red hat and gloves, Kikko does her best to catch up, but the deep snow trips her up and she falls, ruining the pie. Doesn’t sound like a terribly happy book, does it? Think again—in trying to find her father, she instead finds a house filled with animals of all sizes dressed in their Sunday best enjoying (what else) a tea party. They help her create a new pie (but not in the traditional way) and then send her on the way... With a few extra friends to help cheer up grandma. With quiet whimsy and a big heart, this book is great for those just beginning to read—the simple illustrations are greyscale with pops of red and yellow to help draw the eye of the reader to the action, making it easy for our young readers to infer the action from what they can see on the page. But that doesn’t mean adults shouldn’t read this one--it's great for all ages. ;)

Tea Adventures for Amazing School-Agers

As we move into elementary and middle school, we turn from tea parties to tea-themed adventures. Expand your and your child’s imaginations with these fantastical forays into worlds both familiar and far off.

Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl

Mabel lives in a hotel with her parents--"My dad is the manager, but my mom is the boss."--with the sea as her backyard. She likes Swiss cheese, the number 8, donkeys, and popovers (yum, popovers!). But a new guest arrives one day, old and rude with bright red lips and two dogs, two cats, a tortoise, and twenty-three bags. Mabel names her Madame Badobedah (rhymes with ooh-la-la) and is 1000% completely sure that the new guest MUST be a supervillain. And as an adventurer and a spy, Mabel knows what to do. She is duty-bound to expose the villain as the jewel thief ballet dancer she is! But when the real woman turns out to be different than Mabel imagined, she decides that maybe this new guest is worth getting to know as a person, rather than as a caricature. A fantastic way to introduce students to longer books and imagining people more complexly, this longer read is great for children in 1st-3rd grade (or anyone who needs a Madame Badobedah in their life). How does relate to tea? I’m out of space, so you’ll have to read it to find out.

Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee