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Teatime with Emma Buttersnap

Teatime with Emma Buttersnap

by Lindsey Tate, Linda Bronson (Illustrator)

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Emma Buttersnap is throwing a special tea party, and there's so much to do before the guests arrive. From creating the invitations and the menu to buying and preparing the finger foods and tea, Emma hasn't a minute to spare.

Young children love to play tea party, and now Emma Buttersnap can show them how to plan the perfect affair. This interactive book


Emma Buttersnap is throwing a special tea party, and there's so much to do before the guests arrive. From creating the invitations and the menu to buying and preparing the finger foods and tea, Emma hasn't a minute to spare.

Young children love to play tea party, and now Emma Buttersnap can show them how to plan the perfect affair. This interactive book introduces children to the origins of tea, one of the world's favorite beverages. The text combines interesting facts (in the eighteenth century, ladies used to carry their own teacups to parties in special cases) with historical anecdotes (the Earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich to keep his fingers from getting greasy when playing cards). Craft projects and delicious recipes, which children can try with the help of an adult, are also included. Add Linda Bronson's gorgeously detailed illustrations and you get the perfect book for teatime—or any time!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
Emma wants to tell us all about tea and tea parties. Her great-aunt Prudence, who lives in England, is an expert. She and Emma have tea parties whenever they can. This year the tea party is a birthday party, but Aunt Pru won't tell Emma whose birthday they will be celebrating. What follows are all the necessary preparations for a tea party. A template is included for hand-drawn invitations as well as a list of choices for the menu. Aunt Pru and Emma go to the tea store and talk to Mr. Leaf who knows all about tea. Emma asks him a lot of questions. They make their purchases and head home to brew the tea. The tea set is prepared and finger treats are made. Various recipes for scones, cucumber sandwiches and the like are included. The table is set, and the tea party can begin. Then Emma learns the identity of the birthday girl. This is a delightful book. Beautifully illustrated and very informative, guaranteed to inspire one and all to have a tea party.
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
To warm up on blustery days you and your child might enjoy a snuggle with Lindsey Tate's Teatime with Emma Buttersnap, an enchanting story and cookbook combined. The tale of Emma and Aunt Pru planning a tea party for family and friends is sprinkled with tidbits of information as tantalizing as the tiny sandwiches they prepare. For example, did you know that tea has been in existence for more than four thousand years? And that in the eighteenth century ladies carried their own teacups to parties in special cases? Menus, recipes, and instructions on table setting are included. Linda Bronson's charming illustrations combine how-to with exuberance.
Kirkus Reviews
There are many manuals on tea and tea parties, but Tate steps out of the lacy tablecloth variety to serve up a tea party within a story, told by the plucky young Emma Buttersnap.

Product Details

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
9.36(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Teatime with Emma Buttersnap

By Lindsey Tate, Linda Bronson

Henry Holt and Company

Copyright © 1998 Lindsey Tate
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62779-909-6



What I especially like about a tea party is that preparing for it is as much fun as throwing it. First you must decide who you are going to invite. You could ask just one person, maybe a few friends, or your entire class (but get permission first).

I ask Aunt Pru again about our birthday guest.

"It's a surprise party for a very special person," she says. She is better at keeping a secret than I am.

I do know that my mom and daddy and our friend Mr. Leaf are invited to the celebration. That makes five of us — not including our guest.

Suddenly I have a thought. I know who the birthday guest might be. "We're going to have tea with the queen!" I shout, as I run off to practice my curtsy.


A written invitation is the best way to let your guests know about the tea party. Aunt Pru sends out cards with pictures of Jasmine and Lapsang Souchong on them, but I like to create my own teapot invitations. You can make them, too.

To make teapot invitations you will need:

* Construction paper

* Magic Markers or crayons

* Teapot stencil

* Scissors

You could draw flowers on your invitations for a spring tea or teddy bears for a teddy bear's picnic tea. Whatever you choose, just remember to include all the important information: the date, day, and time of the tea party, and your address and telephone number. Don't forget to let people know if the tea party is for a special occasion or if it has a theme.

"Why do tea parties usually start at four o'clock?" I ask Aunt Pru as she comes into the kitchen.

"It's a tradition," she says. "The story goes that an English lady, the Duchess of Bedford, experienced 'a sinking feeling' in the late afternoon between lunch and dinner, rather like the hungry feeling you get when you come home from school. So she started to invite a few friends over for tea and toast. Then cakes and sandwiches were added. That is why tea parties now happen between lunch and dinner."

"But we've had tea parties at breakfast," I say.

"That's true, but that's because we like them so much. It's okay to bend the rules a little now and again, Emma."

Over the centuries, tea has saved millions of lives because it forced people to boil their drinking water, and this helped to kill germs and prevent terrible diseases like cholera.

Once you've decided upon the guest list and sent out the invitations, then you will need to think up the menu. Usually teas consist of small sandwiches, scones (special types of biscuits), and little cakes. Sometimes Aunt Pru and I stick to familiar tea party food, and sometimes we don't. We've come up with lots of variations to our tea menus because it's so much fun.

Today we are making cucumber sandwiches, peanut butter and banana sandwiches (my favorite), scones with jam and cream, and a chocolate birthday cake. And of course there will be a large pot of tea.

Once we have done all our shopping for our food ingredients, Aunt Pru and I go off to buy the tea. We are lucky because there is a shop nearby that sells just tea. The owner of the shop is our friend Mr. Leaf.

Inside it smells warm and spicy. The tiny shop is filled with every type of tea you can imagine. There are three thousand different kinds of tea, and it seems as if Mr. Leaf has them all. Tea bags and tea leaves, herb teas, fruit teas, and flower teas. Teas from all over the world — China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka — with names like Russian Caravan, Chingwoo, Lapsang Souchong (like Aunt Pru's cat), and Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe. Mr. Leaf uses special words when he describes teas to customers — smoky, delicate, bitter, red liquor, fine aroma — and they just roll off his tongue. "All the way from India," he'll say sometimes to a customer, or "From the other side of the world" as he points to a country on his globe.


Excerpted from Teatime with Emma Buttersnap by Lindsey Tate, Linda Bronson. Copyright © 1998 Lindsey Tate. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Lindsey Tate is the author of Claire and the Friendly Snakes, illustrated by Jonathan Franklin. Originally from England, Ms. Tate now lives in New York City with her family.

Linda Bronson received critical acclaim for her illustrations in Crookjaw, by Caron Lee Cohen (Holt). A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Ms. Bronson lives in Connecticut.

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