Every once in a while I’m invited to try something tea related. I was intrigued recently to receive a lovely children’s book, Master Davey and The Magic Tea House. Of course tea would hold a prominent position but I must confess to assuming it wouldn’t really hold my attention . . .being a book for kids. Truth is, I actually found myself enjoying the story. Reading stories that have a message is important for children. Why waste the text on a simple story when values and beliefs can be woven into the tale at the same time?
On the first page, the reader is informed that there are three words hidden within the illustrations. The challenge is to locate the words, proceed to a website and then “unlock the magic of tea.” Because it is a children’s book, I assumed I’d have no trouble finding the words. Boy, was I wrong! As I turned those first pages, no words sprang out. I did find the images to be quite creative, which will engage children of all ages. After a few pages of close scrutiny, I decided not to distract myself from the story by looking for the words during my first read. I think a part of me thought if I stopped looking, I’d just stumble upon them anyway. That turned out not to be the case.
My second leafing through the book was to uncover the hidden words, but I only found the first. A third perusal revealed the second word and I was definitely on a roll. By the fourth pass, my frustration was growing and I thought I’d better stop before it got the better of me. My husband was walking by and asked me what I was doing. Sensing my frustration, he graciously offered to look through the book to find the final word. His conclusion: “You’re right. I can’t find the third word, either.”
Honoring the concept of persistence, (might that be the missing word?) I kept looking. No luck. I did not find the final word. When I started thinking about my review, I went to the website where the authors explain that if you “enter the words . . . the story (will) come to life.” Much to my surprise, I didn’t need to enter the words – they appeared before my eyes. Perhaps the site had been modified after the book was published because others also had trouble finding all the words? Finally I learned the word and I was truly challenged. Knowing the word and that it appeared to be located between the two I had previously discovered, I felt sure I’d be able to find that pesky collection of syllables. Truth is, I have read, re-read, and closely perused the pages several times. Would you believe I still can’t find that dam word?
Apart from the mystery word problem, I would recommend the book. Its charming story will delight readers of any age. The web site actually provides auditory enjoyment of the book. Different voices perform the story in a lively and engaging fashion. I won’t reveal the web address as I hope you’ll all support the authors with your purchase of this book.
My hope would be that this book would provide an opportunity to turn ones children onto tea. Today’s children have been programmed by advertising to desire high sugar beverages. Once their palates come to expect sweetness, options like tea aren’t always appreciated and enjoyed. If this book can provide the introduction to this most healthy beverage, I urge each parent to have a delicious cup of tea ready for the drinking while your child enjoys the story of Master Davey and The Magic Tea House. You will be introducing this wonderful beverage to your children, who might become life long tea drinkers as a result. This early introduction could have a long term affect on their likelihood of developing obesity or type II diabetes.