The Crankypants Tea Party

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Bks. Aug. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481459006.
K-Gr 2–Written as a play with indicated parts for seven characters, this story features Clarissa, who emerges from a teapot-shaped house and invites her stuffed animals to a party. Unfortunately, they each bear a grievance against her and refuse to attend. Pup tries to smooth things over, to no avail. When it starts pouring, the animals leave their perch atop a large blue-trunked tree and march into the house, leaving Clarissa outside. But it’s no fun in the dark without her and when she declares them all her favorites and addresses their complaints, they join the party with an enthusiastic “Thank you, Clarissa.” Both text and the acrylic cartoon illustrations provide ample doses of humor. The frowning animals, paws across their chests, refuse to perform the tasks Clarissa assigns, only to fight over who does them later. The day shifts from bright sunshine to being overshadowed under ever larger storm clouds, and back to sunshine when the party begins. The teapot’s interior transforms as well, from black to bright yellow as attitudes change.
VERDICT This humorous offering will resonate with young readers who also have their own “crankypants” moments, and they will enjoy acting out the play.

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