Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Myrtle Takes Tea Moment

I have a great admiration for authors who are able to create fantastical worlds that are not only interesting and gripping, but that also make sense. Narnia, created by C.S. Lewis; Middle Earth, created by J.R.R. Tolkein in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings novels; and most recently, the world of Harry Potter, created by J.K. Rowling. Of course, there are many other examples, but these are the otherworlds that have had the greatest impact on me over the years.

My newest discovery of a fantasy world is created by British author, Alexander Stacey, in Myrtle Takes Tea. This children's novel introduces the Twin Kingdoms of Tcha and Arabica, as discovered by Myrtle Madison, a tea-drinking 9-year-old girl who has been unfairly diagnosed as depressed - when in fact she is just lonely and utterly bored to death in her own world that is obsessed with materials items, popularity, and over-consumption.



The friendships she forms in her newly discovered world are like none she's ever experienced. Colorful, lively characters, such as the Duke of Earl Grey, a stylish, aristocratic hare and celebrated dueler (swords, not guns); St. James, the Duke's steady and sensible chauffeur mouse; Tips Fanning, a hip and happenin' reporter fox and one of the Duke's closest friends; and Queen Darling Darjeeling, ruler and first class drama queen of the Kingdom of Tcha, who happens to be a man but prefers the title of Queen.

In her adventures, Myrtle becomes a first-class fencer, discovers she is a Duchess, learns the true meaning and value of friendship, and gains a better understanding that life is not just what happens to you but how you choose to live it.

I've had the pleasure of getting to know the creator of this fascinating world, Alexander Stacey, over the past year or so (champagne consumption habits and all), and can't wait for my daughters to become better acquainted with Myrtle and her friends. Edie was so excited when we received the Myrtle Takes Tea gift set in the mail, she immediately wanted to try the tea that came with the book. It was a lovely way to kick off our morning together.

Tea drinkers of all ages will enjoy this adventure and this wonderful new world that you are invited to discover with Myrtle. Personally, I'm hoping a "Part 2" appears very soon!

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