Tea with Oliver

Mika Song

Book - 2017

Oliver wants to drink tea with a friend. Philbert, who loves tea, tries to get Oliver's attention.

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Picture books
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2017]
Main Author
Mika Song (author)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Oliver is a lonely, mild-mannered cat who would love to have tea with someone other than his stuffed toy. Philbert is a mouse who lives under Oliver's sofa and would like nothing better than to be invited to tea by Oliver (just the thought of tea inspires Philbert to do a happy dance and hope for cookies, too). But Oliver doesn't know Philbert exists, and Philbert is too shy to speak up; the mouse's earnest attempt at communication-a tiny letter that reads, "Let's have tea. Philbert (under the couch)"-never reaches its intended recipient. It takes a boisterous party foisted on Oliver by his Cousin Lester to bring Philbert into Oliver's field of vision and forge a friendship of like minds. In an appealing debut as author, illustrator Song (Harry and Clare's Amazing Staycation) combines dialogue bubbles with succinct, direct narration to draw readers in and sidestep any expected interspecies animosity. Her pencil drawings, rendered in soft blues and peaches, may be naive in style, but they demonstrate a sophisticated sense of character, pacing, and composition. Ages 4-8. Agent: Erica Rand Silverman, Stimola Literary Studio. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-A cat named Oliver is looking for a companion to have tea with him. A small, shy mouse named Philbert is interested, but Oliver does not hear him. Oliver encounters other friends who do not share his interest in tea. Philbert writes Oliver letters in a repeated attempt to get the cat's attention. The illustrations give the book a warm and inviting feel. The author/illustrator does a great job of portraying the disconnect between the characters. Oliver is much bigger than the tiny mouse, and it's clear that he is not aware of Philbert's presence. Philbert's letters are written in blue crayon, adding to the mouse's childlike quality. Hopeful and kind, the mouse is endearing and will appeal to readers. Statements from characters are written in word bubbles. These help readers distinguish between the characters' conversations and comments from the narrator. The bold black lettering also makes character comments easy to read against the pastel-colored background. VERDICT This title encourages friendship among those who are different from one another. It also invites children to befriend those who may not have extroverted personalities or tendencies.-Deanna Smith, Mamaroneck Public Library, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Feline Oliver wonders aloud, "...who will have tea with me?" Philbert, a mouse living under the couch, answers ("Me!"), but Oliver doesn't hear him. The delicate pen-and-ink illustrations with soft watercolor wash amusingly show Philbert's determination and Oliver's obliviousness. A raucous impromptu party further distracts Oliver; when things quiet down, however, Oliver finally gets Philbert's message, and tea (and friendship) is served. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Oliver (a white cat with orange spots) wishes for a friend he can share a pot of tea with. He loves teaas does Philbert, a mouse who lives right in the unknowing Oliver's house, even though Philbert tries to get Oliver's attention all the time. Oliver's solemn moon face, wide-set dot eyes, and pert mouth convey both vulnerability and formality, while Philbert's miniature body and outsized efforts to communicate with his oblivious roomie make readers' hearts ache. So many unnoticed overtures, missed gestures, and misconstrued tries at friendship! Philbert writes letters, launches paper airplanes, and even shouts from under the couch, but he never manages to connect with Oliver. An airy palette lightens things up, with gauzy grays, pinks, and peaches. White space, roomy watercolor illustrations, and clear, confident black linework allow readers to focus on these unlikely friends, their feelings, and the amusing mishaps that keep them apart. Oliver mistakes the ping of a paper plane for a needling flea, and he accidentally sweeps an introductory note back under the sofa while singing the "lonesome apartment bluuues." The darling rhyming of "tea" and "me" recurs throughout, delivered in turns by both Oliver and Philbert, enacting a conversation between the two before they even meetas they inevitably, finally do. Charming and as sweet as a tea cake. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.