Tuesday, July 28, 2015

THE TEA PARTY IN THE WOODS by Akiko Miyakoshi.  Originally published in Japan, 2010.  English translation, 2015. Kids Can Press: Tonawanda, NY.  32p. ISBN 978-177138-1079 hc. $16.95  Gr. K-2   E PIC

Kikko sets off in her father's snowy footsteps to catch up with him because he forgot the pie to be delivered to Grandmother.  Don't be lulled into thinking this is a rendition of "Little Red Riding Hood" even though readers will see some similarities.  Kikko trips in the snow, dropping the pie, and then hurries up to keep sight of her father in the distance.  As he approaches a house she's never seen before, she realizes she's been following a bear in clothing and is invited by a lamb (also in clothing) to a fabulous tea party inside.  When the guests, all forest animals, find out that Kikko's pie is ruined, they each provide a piece of the pies they brought to make a brand new multi-flavored pie.  Charcoal drawings on textured paper are enhanced by Kikko's yellow hair and red skirt. The author/illustrator provides a storytelling masterpiece on each page, especially the last page showing Grandmother and Father looking down at the pie which is hidden from the reader's view.  Was the tea party real or an imaginative tale about a walk through the woods?  The proof's in the pie...what do you think?
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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