The Tea Party In The Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi Review

The Tea Party In The Woods by Akiko MiyakoshiThe Tea Party In The Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Release Date: August 1, 2015

Pages: 32

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!

 

January 2019 Wrap-Up

During the month of January I read 5 books! I’m really happy with this number & the books I read, because a lot of them were part of a TBR list I created for myself in my bullet journal!

Fierce Fairytales Poems And Stories To Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill1. Fierce Fairytales: Poems And Stories To Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

LibraryStarted January 1 + Finished January 2My Rating:★★★★☆ Fierce Fairytales Full Review

Overall Thoughts: I’d never read any of Gill’s poetry before, but after reading this book I definitely want to check out more of her collections in the future! I loved the modern twists and inspiring messages she wove into Fierce Fairytales! Gill transforms fairy-tales/classic fairy tale elements within each piece of the collection to turn it into something wholly unique and I loved that! However, there were definitely some elements that made me take off a star: You can clearly see the message and emotion she’s trying to evoke, but with the plainness in writing, it comes off as very direct and abrupt. The pacing did drag a bit too. However, there we’re definitely some poems & stories that I adored, which I found both showed the strongest writing and imagery: Badroulbadour, Shoemaker’s Son, Rapunzel Rapunzel & Moon Dragon! 

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi2. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves #1)

ARC Started January 3 + Finished January 8My Rating: ★★★★★ The Gilded Wolves ARC Review

Overall Thoughts: Though 2019 has just started, I know for a fact that The Gilded Wolves is one of my all-time favorite books of the year! The dazzling setting & world-building, phenomenal characters (banter especially), plot, dialogue–I could go on & on–were fantastic!  This book was just too high quality and I’m not sure if I’ll ever recover. I adored this crew so much: Séverin, Hypnos, Enrique, Tristan, Zofia & Laila–I loved each of them so much!! Chokshi really builds their backstories, motvation, growth + vulnerability where you are left truly understanding these wonderful characters! There’s multiple heists, puzzles, a mysterious society, intrigue, and non-stop adventure! The Gilded Wolves is a masterfully crafted historical fantasy & not a book to miss! 

*Another one of my reviews for The Gilded Wolves was also featured on Bookish if you want to check it out! 

i hear the sunspot limit 1 by yuki fumino3. I Hear The Sunspot: Limit 1 by Yuki Fumino ( Sunspot #3)

OwnedStarted January 10 + Finished January 11My Rating: ★★★★☆ I Hear The Sunspot: Limit 1 Full Review

Overall Thoughts: It was great to return to the world of I Hear The Sunspot again! This is the series that got me back into manga again and I fell in love with the story and characters! Suspot centers around college students Kouhei & Taichi who become friends and fall for each other! Kouhei is hard of hearing and this series also goes into great length to discuss and explore hearing disabilities! The introduction to new side characters make the story even more interesting. Though I did find that Kouhei and Taichi’s relationship in terms of development does take a step backwards. But, I am so interested to see where Kouhei & Taichi are headed in this series! I highly recommend this manga because the story is impactful, the two main characters Taichi & Kouhei go through so much development, and there’s a lot of discussion about hearing/ hearing disability! Highly recommend this manga series, its SO underrated!

The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera4. The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera (Their Bright Ascendancy #2)

OwnedStarted December 22 + Finished January 25My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ The Phoenix Empress Full Review

Overall Thoughts: The Phoenix Empress is a phenomenal continuation to this epic fantasy series! The Tiger’s Daughter chronicled Shizuka and Shefali’s lives starting when they were born to their unfortunate separation later in life! However, in the end they are reunited, but not for long as we see in The Phoenix Empress–Shizuka is still haunted by events in her past as a soldier during Shefali’s absence and Shefali is attempting to understand the darkness that now runs through her! The detail, insight into the characters, and further development of the world are just some of the many things I loved about this sequel! There’s a cast of dynamic and incredible female characters, expansive lore, politics, and immersive plot made The Phoenix Empress such a fantastic sequel! I can’t wait to read book 3, The Warrior Moon!

planting stories--the life of librarian and storyteller pura belpré5. Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise + Paola Escoba

LibraryStarted January 29 + Started January 29My Rating: ★★★★★  Planting Stories Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Planting Stories is a must-read picture book that chronicles the life and legacy of storyteller, librarian, and author Pura Belpré! She uses her power of storytelling to not only spark a love of stories, but also to get more Latinx (& especially Puerto Rican folktales) in the library! The art, with its use of warm colors evokes a sense of magic in this heartwarming story! She moves to New York from Puerto Rico and becomes the 1st Puerto Rican librarian in the city. Both the writing and illustrations bring Belpré’s story to life. From the impact of Belpré’s legacy to the importance of having diversity/representation among stories, this picture book is must-read!

Additional Posts From This Month:

2018 Wrap-Up & 2019 Book Blog Goals {Bookish Goals}

January 2019 YA Books I’m Looking Forward To!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi {Reading Diary}

Upcoming 2019 YA Book Recommendations From Book Bloggers
feat. Adriana, Jordan, Marie, & Sil

The Gilded Wolves {Reading Playlist}

YA Book-To-Movie Adaptations Releasing In 2019!

Empire Of Sand by Tasha Suri Optioned For TV! {Book Blog Discussion}

King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo {Bookish Theories}

Flyest Fables Podcast Review {Literary Listens}

~ It wasn’t until I was writing this wrap-up that I realized how many additional posts I created! If you have time, I’d love if you could give one of them a read–it would mean a lot! ❤❤ I had so much fun creating all my non-review posts this month & January left me inspired to create more! 😭✨📚

~ I also created a new banner for my wrap-ups & I really like how it turned out!

Plans For February:

~ More podcasts reviews! I listened to my first podcast of the year this month and really want to bring back my fiction podcast reviews! 🎙✨❤

~ Stay on track with my monthly bullet journal TBRs!

~ Create more non-book review posts! 😍📚✨

So that was my January TBR! Thoughts on what I read? What books did you read in January? 😍📚🎉🎉

Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise and Paola Escobar Review

planting stories--the life of librarian and storyteller pura belpréPlanting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise + Paola Escobar (Illustrator)

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: January 15, 2019

Pages: 32

Available Through The Book Depository: Planting Stories

Summary: When she came to America in 1921, Pura carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular stories into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and cuentistas continue to share her stories and celebrate Pura’s legacy.

This portrait of the influential librarian, author, and puppeteer reminds us of the power of storytelling and the extraordinary woman who opened doors and championed bilingual literature.

My Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts: Planting Stories chronicles and celebrates Pura Belpré, her journey as a storyteller, bilingual librarian, and author! The illustrations are colorful, detailed, and evoke a sense of magic!

I’ve made it a priority ever since getting involved in Latinx Book Bingo last year to discover and read more Latinx books!

Planting Stories is a picture book I’d been wanting to read for quite a while and now that it finally released this month, I just had to read it before January was over!

Pura Belpré grew up in Puerto Rico as an avid storyteller and she shared the stories + folktales her abuela told her with her community! Then in 1921, she comes to America carrying those tales with her.

What started as a visit to celebrate her sister’s wedding, soon marks a new part of her life both for her and her stories when she decides to stay in New York!

Her first job is in the garment industry, but when the New York Public Library is seeking a bilingual assistant, Belpre takes hold of this opportunity and it changes her life!

When she notices the lack of Latinx stories on shelves, she uses her power of storytelling to bring those tales to the children of the library!

Belpre’s stories gather both children and families, which leads her from librarian assistant to storyteller/puppeteer, and soon–author! She publishes the folktales and other stories of Puerto Rico to allow them to reach many more readers.

Planting Stories is a magnificent picture book that reminds us of the power of storytelling and celebrates the legacy of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City!

It was so beautiful to see Spanish woven throughout this book as well!

I adored Paola Escobar’s art and illustrations! From the warm colors, detail, to the heartwarming emotions and magic it evokes!

The symbolism of flowers and trees really bring to the center how stories grow, flourish, and celebrates the power of stories.

Her art brings so much to this wonderful story!

Denise’s writing throughout this picture book, chronicles Belpré’s life in such a beautiful way! Her writing-style is also what brings a sense of magic to this story!

Those who are looking for a book that celebrates stories, influential storytellers, and the impact of stories in a community, Planting Stories is a must read!

Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré is a heartwarming picture book that celebrates the legacy of an influential storyteller, librarian, and author! Detailed and vibrant illustrations bring the story to life! Woven throughout the pages are the importance of storytelling, diversity among stories, and their lasting impact!

Franklin’s Flying Bookshop by Jen Campbell and Katie Harnett Review

Franklin's Flying BookshopFranklin’s Flying Bookshop by Jen Campbell & Katie Harnett (Illustrator)

Publisher: Thames And Hudson

Release Date: September 7, 2017

Pages: 32

Available Through The Book Depository: Franklin’s Flying Bookshop

Summary: Franklin the dragon loves stories and loves reading stories to people too, but everyone is too scared to even talk to him. One day, he meets a girl named Luna who, rather than being afraid, is fascinated to meet Franklin, having recently read all about dragons in one of her books. They instantly become friends and talk nonstop about what they’ve read: books about roller-skating, King Arthur, spiders, and how to do kung fu. Together they hatch a plan to share their love of books with others by opening a bookshop―a flying bookshop, that is―right on Franklin’s back!

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Franklin’s Flying Bookshop is a delightful picture book that explores the wonder of books, stories, and the love of reading–while the style of illustration brings a whimsical feel to the story!

🐉 + 📚 + 🎨 = Franklin’s Flying Bookshop

Franklin’s Flying Bookshop is a book I’ve been meaning to read ever since it released last year, I mean–dragons, books, & bookshops?–Sign me up!

Well, now that winter break has started, I also felt a short picture book would get me back into reading!

There’s no other way to describe this book other than adorable! (´▽`ʃƪ) The book follows Franklin who’s a dragon that loves to read: from books about word fights, adventures in the open sea, to music & baking.

He even has a bookcase as his front door!

With his love of reading, he’s always eager to go into the local village and speak to people around town about all the wonderful books, but they’re scared of him!

That’s until he meets Luna who loves to read just as much as he does. Soon their talking about all the books they like to read and come up with a plan to share that with as many people as possible!

They hatch a plan to create: a flying bookshop!

Both of them head into town to introduce it to the villagers so they won’t be scared of Franklin anymore!

I loved Katie Harnett‘s art!, because it brings a comfort and whimsy to the story. The style of colors also bring a lot to the story!

While reading Franklin’s Flying Bookshop I also found this underlying message about how powerful reading can be in allowing you to learn new things, connect with others, and offer a sense of escapism from the everyday!

My only issue (which has me caught between 4 & 4.5 stars) is that the writing at times would jump between regular prose and rhymes–so it made the flow of dialogue and storytelling feel a bit off.

Franklin’s Flying Bookshop is a delightful picture book with lovely illustrations that introduces you to a kind-hearted dragon who loves reading!