One Lump or Two? Tea Rex by Molly Idle
DEAR MR. REX,
IT HAS BEEN SO LONG SINCE I HAVE SEEN YOU.
DO DROP BY ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON FOR A CUP OF TEA.
Cordelia is a brave girl who clearly does things by the book--Emily Post's Guide to Etiquette, that is. She is also quite courageous, considering that mixing dainty teacups with cretaceous critters is not generally well advised.
In Molly Idle's latest teatime confection, Tea Rex (Viking, 2013), she sets up a delicious tongue-in-cheek irony in her text, which consists solely of decorous directions for conducting a proper afternoon tea, while the prim but revealing colored pencil illustrations, within tidy borders, show all sorts of mini-mayhem about to break out as her prehistoric guest courts disaster. With the parlor chair straining under Mr. Rex's generous bottom, Cordelia shudders as her guest snatches her flowery straw chapeau to serve as his commodious teacup and sloshes the entire pot of tea into it, shockingly dunking her little brother's Teddy bear into it and opening wide for this unwonted tea pastry.
IT'S GOOD TO HAVE EXTRA CUPS AND NAPKINS ON HAND....
BUT A GOOD HOSTESS MEETS THESE LITTLE CHALLENGES WITH A CHEERFUL SMILE.
The Teddy is rescued and the party ends with dancing and toothy smiles from her guest, and as we see by the closing endpapers, a polite thank-you note to Mr. Rex, who has appropriately returned the favor by inviting Cordelia to his next dino tea party.
DEAR MR. REX,
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING US TO TEA.
An unusual juxtaposition of crumpets and the cretaceous, this book has wide appeal. "Sure to be enjoyed by tea-party enthusiasts, and even dino fans with no use for a teapot will find themselves drawn to this clever tale of a not-entirely-civilized beast of the past," says Kirkus Reviews.