The Tea Party in the Woods + Pie Art Project
There’s something eerie and otherworldly about walking in the woods in the wintertime. It is quiet, yet holds many secrets… Maybe even a bit of magic. The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi (public library | local bookstore) embodies this feeling perfectly. A young girl, Kikko, sets out to deliver a pie her father had forgotten to her grandmother’s house. Trying as quickly as she could to catch up to her father, she trips in the snow, ruining the pie. Kikko gets up and hurries after him nonetheless only to find that she ends up at an unfamiliar house where she learns she wasn’t following her father after all.
There it is. This image. How terrific is the mood in this illustration? That point when things are absolutely not what they seem? Kikko walks into an enchanting tea party welcomed by a guest list of animals of all shapes and sizes. Feeling nervous and excited, she explains to the animals that she was taking a pie to her grandmother’s but the pie was ruined on the way. The animals encouraged her to take an assortment of the pies they had at the party to replace the ruined pie.
The Tea Party in the Woods is quiet and striking full of whimsy and wonder. The sequence of full-page spreads and bright yellow and red focal points in this visually appealing for beginning and early readers to draw conclusions about the story without reading the text. Kikko’s story is a delight and prompted a simple paper craft project and many hours of pretend play…
PIE ART PROJECT
If you’ll scroll up to the illustration of the animals preparing a plate of assorted pies for Kikko, that scene was what inspired this simple pie art project. “Each piece had a different filling of seeds and nuts and fruit and other delicious things gathered from the woods,” is the description of the pies in the story. I thought about collecting materials found outdoors to be used for this project as a nature-y mixed-media creation, but my daughter wanted the pie pieces to look like the pies she likes to eat. Not like dead grass. Fair enough! Here’s how she made her paper pie collage…
PIE ART MATERIALS
- Pie Plate
- Variety of Colored Paper or Cardstock
- Glue Stick
- [Optional Embellishments (sequins, pom poms, etc.)]
You could also use a paper plate as the crust of your pie, but we chose different colors of cardstock we had on hand.
Place your pie plate in the middle of a piece of paper and trace around the bottom of the plate with a pencil.
Using another piece of paper as a makeshift ruler, divide the circle into sections. If you’d like, this is a good opportunity to talk about basic division and fractions with your child. Sneaky math! It’s everywhere! Once you’ve divided the pie up, cut out the pie along using penciled lines as your guide.
Snip snip snip. After the pie crust was cut out, kids can decorate with paper to their own imagination and/or flavor preference. Perhaps a piece of Peppermint Plum? Or Ginger Pumpkin? Maybe some Pistachio Crunch? Triple Cartwheel Peanut Butter Surprise? Whatever the flavor! Now, you can stop here OR you can add some optional additional embellishments of your choosing. We had some sequins and pom-poms out already and those were readily applied to the pie.
Good enough to eat! Am I right? Art baked goodness just in time for a winter tea party of your very own.
PRETEND PLAY TEA PARTY
As in any situation where pie is involved, you obviously have to throw a party for the pie to be enjoyed among friends. Over the past few weeks there have been a many tea parties indoors where friends from all over the house are invited to enjoy the festivities and freshly baked pie. Awhile back I purchased a few tea cups, mugs, and saucers from Goodwill that have been put to good use ever since we brought them home.
Roar-y the Tiger couldn’t help himself and had to have seconds. The hostess was of the mostess and everyone was very well mannered and had a jolly old time.
And I had to share a picture of this friendly cat and dog guest duo, which were made from leftover pie scraps and other odds and ends from around the house. Glad these last minute guests could make it just in time for tea!
Don’t you love when a book sparks imagination?
**Source of book reviewed: Checked out at the local public library.