Publisher: Kids Can Press
Release Date: August 1, 2015
Available Through The Book Depository: The Tea Party In The Woods
Cover Design: Akiko Miyakoshi
Summary: On a snowy winter’s day, Kikko sets out to bring a pie to grandma. When she happens upon a strange house in the woods, the most surprising guests invite her inside for a tea party. Kikko can hardly believe her eyes…
My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½
My Thoughts: The Tea Party In The Woods is a detailed, atmospheric, almost surreal picture book! Evoking the style of a classic fairy tale, Miyakoshi delivers a wondrous story about friendship and resilience!
The Tea Party In The Woods is a beautifully illustrated picture book that I discovered when browsing through Goodreads and I picked it up mainly because I was really in the mood to read something short!
Let me just say that this book is beautiful inside and out! Miyakoshi’s art alongside her storytelling really evokes a classic fairy tale vibe that’s sure to captivate anyone! ❤✨
The story starts with Kikko’s father headed to her grandmother’s house after a night of snowfall. She decides to follow him into the snowy woods when he forgets to take a pie for Grandma!
Along the way, Kikko accidentally drops the pie but manages to keep up with her father (recognizing his hat). But, she realizes her father has arrived at the wrong house.
Kikko quickly learns that she hadn’t followed her father, but a bear in a coat. The house it seems, is full of walking/talking animals who happily invite her to their tea party.
From there, they chat with Kikko and help her find her grandmother’s house at the end of the woods. The story beautifully explored the idea that your never alone and the importance of not giving up, even when it seems like you’ve made a mistake!
“The woods were very still. And so quiet. Kikko’s footsteps were the only sound…”
Miyakoshi evokes a fairytale-like prose that weaves together with charming storytelling and captures that idea of a comforting, quiet fantasy.
I actually reread this book multiple times in just one sitting, it was just so cute and immersive!
The art is so beautiful. Miyakoshi uses a hand-drawn pencil and charcoal illustrations to deliver art that is detailed and captures that magical winter vibe! I also found that the use of a monochrome palette, really makes the colors pop (one of my favorite pages was where it shows a pie platter where the animals place slices to help Kikko bring more to her grandmother).
There’s also a beautiful attention to shadow and detail, which is highlighted through the wintry world and animal characters. There’s a variety from deer to rabbits, bears, rabbits, and many more that Kikko meets at the party.
Every page had such a perfect attention to detail that you could really picture yourself there and the world itself feels so big, such as the tea party house and the woods themselves.
The only reason I’m personally rating this 4.5 is that I wish this was longer, the characters and the charming world Akiko crafted felt so expansive through her art. To me, it seemed like there was much more story to be told! Overall though, Tea Party In The Woods is making it onto my list of favorite picture books━ it’s charming, sweet, and wholesome!
The Tea Party In The Woods is an atmospherically detailed picture book that evokes the feeling of a classic fairytale! The storytelling, artwork, and immersive world deliver a quiet fantasy sure to captivate any reader!