Monday, February 24, 2014

Picture Book Spotlight: TEA PARTY RULES

Hi guys!

I'm starting a new feature today called Picture Book Spotlight.  I'd been wanting to do something that simple focuses on picture books, like, sharing them with you so you know what's out there.  For awhile I had grand visions of shooting videos, but realistically that would take too much time, I fear.  Then I'd feel pressure, then I wouldn't do it, then I'd feel guilt.  Ug.  It occurred to me that many books have videos already, so I plan to blog about a fabulous picture book, show a bit of art, tell you why I think it's great, then show a trailer.  Badda boom, badda bing!

I'm shining my very first spotlight on the brand-spankin'-new winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award, TEA PARTY RULES by Ame Dyckman and K. G. Campbell.

TEA PARTY RULES starts off when a cutie little cub smells something delicious.

That special something is a plate of cookies nicely sitting atop of dainty table all laid out for a tea party.  Cub is ready to mow down when a little girl comes out.   Quickly, Cub shoves the Teddy Bear (who was clearly an invited guest, btw) out of its seat and takes its place.  (I LOVE the vacant eyes Cub takes on, and the slighty psycho look of the little girl.)

From that point on, Cub is subjected to a number of live-bear humiliations, all so that he can score some sweet, sweet cookies at the end.

This book is fabulous because:

- I love Cub's clear objective: Cookies!

- I love that the girl has slighty crazy eyes.  You'd think a wild bear might not worry about a little girl, but you don't want to push this girl over the edge.  There's no telling what she'd do!

- I love the cat.  The cat has nothing to do with the main story, but I always love when an illustrator injects a bit of a B-story into the pictures.  I think the cat is a little concerned that there's a live bear in the house at first, but soon the girl has dressed them both up in pearls and hats, Cub and Cat are like partners in misery.

- The text is loaded with charm and the soft, colored pencil illustrations bring it to life beautifully.

Here's a very cute trailer:

You might look at this book and think, girl book, but it has bears, cookies, and lots of humor.  So if you have a boy or tom-boy at home that isn't immediately turned off by the sight of pink, I bet they'd really enjoy TEA PARTY RULES.  And if you have a tea party kid at home, then heck, this book is a home run!

HUGE CONGRATS to both Ame Dykeman for winning the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and illustrator K. G. Campbell for winning the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor!  WOO HOO!

TEA PARTY RULES is available wherever books are sold!  I have my copy.  Do you have yours?

Thanks so much for stopping in.  I hope you enjoyed the first PICTURE BOOK SPOTLIGHT.  Writers and Illustrators, if you have a book you'd like me to feature, send me an email at

Happy Monday Everyone!


Mirka Breen said...

A good example^ of why we love picture books.
And tea.
And cookies.

Becky Shillington said...

This looks like an adorable book, Julie! Thanks so much for the review!