Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Tea Rex

Idle, Molly (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2013. 36 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780670014309 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

point of view

Award

Crystal Kite Award – 2014

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this charming picture book, an earnest boy and his sister, Cordelia, host a tea party for an unusual guest—a T-Rex who doesn’t quite understand the prim and proper etiquette of such gatherings. While the children mind their manners, make small talk and cater to their guest, he all but destroys the place and ruins their party.

Delightful humour results as the image of the ensuing chaos is juxtaposed with a deadpan text delivering the rules of a dignified tea party: “greet your guest at the door,” “offer him a comfortable chair” and, above all, “meet . . . little challenges with a cheerful smile,” because what’s most important is that “a lovely time” be had by all.

Vivid coloured pencil illustrations zero in on the oversized dinosaur who takes up most of the page, gentle and endearing despite his beastly behaviour. Rounding out the Emily Post theme, the story is bookended with a pair of polite handwritten letters, Cordelia’s invitation, and a subsequent thank-you letter.

Children will be hard pressed not to assimilate the subtle lesson on manners and etiquette packaged in this delightful read-aloud.

  •  

    Look at the cover and end papers. Share your knowledge of tea parties (menu, etiquette, setting). Predict what might happen at a tea party with a dinosaur.

  •  

    Describe what is happening at the tea party. As you read, discuss whether the illustrations match the text. 

  •  Would you invite a dinosaur to a tea party at your house? Why or why not?
  •  Retell the story from the point of view of one of the characters.
  •  

    Draw and write about hosting a tea party with any kind of creature. Explain your choice and describe what would happen at this tea party.

  •  

    Look at the cover and end papers. Share your knowledge of tea parties (menu, etiquette, setting). Predict what might happen at a tea party with a dinosaur.

  •  

    With situations from the story in mind, make a list of rules that would help you be an appropriate guest at a tea party. Refer to these rules as you observe them during the class tea party (see next activity).

  •  

    As a class, plan a tea party for a special occasion. Create a menu and make a to-do list. Exchange invitations with classmates (use the model on the last page). Afterward, send a thank-you note to the friend who invited you.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use creativity
  • Personal and Career Planning