Do you enjoy fancy outfits, lovely illustrations, whimsical pets, world travel, the monarchy, and tea? (At the very least, you must enjoy tea! You’re here, after all!)
I have the precise book for you. It’s How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea, written by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gail Swiatkowska.
This. Book. Is. Cute.
The plot is about how the queen is dissatisfied with her butler’s tea-making skills. So she decides to go on a world travel to see how they’re making their tea. She goes to Japan (matcha), India (chai), and Turkey (a really cool double-pot method of brewing).
The children she meets there are cute and charming. They show her how it’s done — with really great illustrations depicting each process.
Along the way, she learns not only how to make tea, but the importance of friendship, cuddling her pets, and taking charge of her own life. (Cuddling one’s pets? Obviously key to a joyous existence.)
As a professional graphic designer (ha! I sound important!), I was especially taken with the typography and the illustrations. The font is beautiful, and whimsically laid out across the page. And the illustrations go perfectly with it. Delicate, flowing pencil/graphite with rich, color-coded colored pencil laid over top. Each page is a masterpiece.
The Queen herself is especially charming. She has a fanciful hairdo/outfit that has a little bit in common with the Queen of Hearts — one of my favorite characters of all time — but remains original.
And the children are accurate to the regions where they come from. Sometimes illustrators have difficulty capturing different ethnicities in a sensitive and authentic way, but not here. The kids look great.
And oh my, the whimsical pets are so cute.
If you want a pretty book with a sweet message and lots of tea, I recommend this one. I think it’d be a great way to introduce a child to the ways of tea. If I had a kid, I’d totally be reading this to him/her all the time. I want my kids to join this wonderful world of tea!