Kate Hosford (text), Gabi Swiatkowska (illus.), How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea, Carolrhoda Books?Walker Books Australia, 1 April 2017, 40pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781467739047
A charming, cleverly crafted story that leads readers around the world on a tea-tasting tour that changes a snooty queen’s outlook on life. The starchy “Victorian-styled’ monarch is dissatisfied with her pampered routine and thinks the problem is the taste of her morning cup of tea. She embarks on a balloon-powered search for the perfect cuppa with her butler James. The reader soon identifies that she is isolated by her own imperious nature. Each introduction to a new culture (Japan, India and Turkey) shows the Queen normal real life and she starts to loosen up and join in, finding that tea tastes better when you earn it and share it with friends.
Quirky soft, yet precise pencil illustrations beautifully capture gesture and compositions, subtle colours contrasting satisfyingly with monochrome line details. A lovey book about friendship and self sufficiency.
Reviewed by Liz Anelli