A dinosaur and a tea party – has there ever been a better combination for a children’s book? I think perhaps not. I picked up my copy of this brand-spanking new piece of fantastic work by Molly Idle on Saturday. It is supposedly being released tomorrow, but I guess it really does pay to shop local independent bookstores and request they stock something! This is a brilliant book, sure to delight boys and girls alike and send them into a fit of giggles and planning their own rompous affair. This is Tea Rex by Molly Idle, 2013.
Written in first person, the story actually begins very subtly on the front end page with a formal invitation from our story’s narrator. The rest of the book is actually quite like two stories being told with the text speaking of the proper way to host a special friend and the images showing the eventual raucous affair that is actually occurring.
The text would make even etiquette queen Emily Post proud with its guidelines about greeting a guest, offering a chair, proper small talk, and the like. I suppose one could learn a thing or two about how to host a really excellent tea party, that is, if you weren’t so incredibly distracted and humored by the pictures.
Simple, clever, beautiful and oh so charmingly hilarious, that is how I describe this book. It really is a must read. The text is actually very short, being only about a sentence or so on each page. Ms. Idle has left loads of room for creating your own pace, studying each page carefully, pausing for lots of giggles and laughs, and learning new definitions for turns of phrases – at least the way a Tyrannosaurus Rex would define them.
And the art, oh the art! Molly Idle is a pure genius with her colored pencils. I seriously am enamored with the detail, page composition, character style, and hilarity she has created with Prismacolor pencils. And the texture is so lovely! With a background in animation, I’m really not that surprised at her immense drawing skills. She has the prowess of a traditional animator which is an art that is disappearing faster than I care to admit. I love how she shapes the page compositions, alternating between the images bleeding off the edge or being framed with a white border, and using the gargantuan shape of the Rex to create another frame within the image. Just lovely!
Whether you like tea parties and all their frills, or are partial to dinosaurs and their girth, I think this book will please every taste. So, get to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of this new gem by Molly Idle. If they don’t have it, request it. And while you are at it, ask for Flora and the Flamingo too, a wordless wonder by the same creator. Molly Idle has been very, marvelously busy!