Part Goldilocks, part Little Red Riding Hood, this week’s Port Pick has less of the dark and scary life lesson and more of a gentle reminder that working together can produce wonderful results. First published in Japan in 2010, The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi is beautifully and gently rendered in charcoal, pencil, and ink illustrations. Kikko wakes to a snowy winter wonderland one morning and is enjoying breakfast when her mother discovers her father has left a pie on the table. In a rush to shovel Grandmother’s sidewalks that morning, Kikko’s father has left the gift for Grandmother, and Kikko volunteers to carry the box through the woods after her father. Separating the two houses is a snowy wood, but Kikko has no problem following her father’s footsteps. Spying someone ahead she thinks is her father, Kikko hurries ahead but drops the box in the process. When she catches up over the hill she comes upon a large house she’s never seen before. And the figure who went inside wasn’t her father at all, but a large bear in a suit! A young lamb leads Kikko inside to find a warm and welcoming tea party. Kikko introduces herself and says she’s on her way to Grandma’s with a pie. When a small rabbit asks if the crushed box is the pie, Kikko becomes upset that she ruined the gift in her haste. But the animals put together a variety of pie slices from the party and Kikko is followed the rest of the way to Grandmas’s with a noisy, happy parade.
You can get more great titles to watch, read, listen to, or play with at the Port Library at 1718 N. Hersey in Beloit.