cover image Kid Tea

Kid Tea

Elizabeth Ficocelli, , illus. by Glin Dibley. . Cavendish, $14.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7614-5333-8

This book makes a nifty observation that doesn't quite live up to its potential: plunk a kid covered in muck (brown mud, purple popsicle juice, yellow paint) into a tub, and the child will cause a chemical reaction analogous to what happens when a teabag is dunked into a cup of hot water. The book follows a week's worth of kid tea–making activities: "Wednesday, friends day,/ markers-paints-and-pens day/ .../ should-have-worn my smock day./ Dunk me in the tub, please/ for yellow kid tea!" Dibley's exaggerated kid portraits have a distant, editorial feel; the sense of everyday magic that a bath embodies never quite materializes. Similarly, Ficocelli's rhymes could use a bit more starch. By building every one of her verses around "day" ("Monday, fun day/ mud-pies-in-the-sun-day..."), she almost wears out her welcome within a few pages. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)