cover image How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea

How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea

Kate Hosford, illus. by Gabi Swiatkowska. Carolrhoda, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4677-3904-7

An imperious monarch embarks on a quest in this wry story from the team behind Infinity and Me. “I must find the perfect cup of tea!” the queen barks at her butler, James. “Stop slouching and get me my coat!” Aloft in a hot-air balloon, she orders James to stop in verdant, tea-growing regions, encountering children who invite the royal to do things queens don’t ordinarily do, then share tea with her. In Japan, she meets Noriko and snuggles a cat (“That was rather strenuous”). In India, where tea is prepared with ginger and star anise, Sunil invites her to play soccer. “Her Majesty does not dribble,” James informs the boy. “Well then,” Sunil responds, “it’s time she tried.” In Turkey, she meets Rana, who dances. Swiatkowska’s delicious, old-world pastels render each character a distinct individual; the Queen has peculiar flyaway hair, and Sunil’s missing a front tooth. The details give Hosford’s round-the-world tale offbeat charm, and readers will smile as they watch the Queen shed her haughtiness and embrace her own capabilities. Ages 5–9. [em]Author’s agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Mar.) [/em]