Digital Age Tea Parties

BookendsLynn: Even in this digital age some things remain constant, like the fun of having a tea party and the warm comforting love between a grandparent and a young child. Some things, however, are different! Barney Saltzberg captures both elements in his charming picture book, Tea with Grandpa (2014).

A little girl narrates the sweet story of a daily ritual in rhyming verse.

Every day at half past three…
Me and Grandpa.
Time for tea.

tea 2Each simple rhyme is shown in large dark text opposite a lovely pastel illustration that includes plenty of humor. A cat and a dog join the party, which is clearly being greatly enjoyed by everyone. This is a warm and joyful story that beautifully conveys that special and timeless connection between a grandparent and grandchild. They tell stories, sing, share special time together, and promise to meet again tomorrow. It is only on the very last page turn that we learn that Grandpa and the little girl are enjoying their tea party by Skyping across the miles.

This is the first time I’ve seen this element of modern life conveyed in a picture book, but it is one that many children will immediately relate to. I know many, many grandparents who do this very thing on a regular basis. Here’s a wonderfully reassuring reminder that a tea party with Grandpa or Grandma can be special fun even if you do it by computer!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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