Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Mika Song
Illustrator: Mika Song
Philbert the mouse has just one simple wish: to have tea with Oliver. And it just so happens that Oliver the cat wants someone to have tea with. But Philbert is too shy to come out from under the couch, and Oliver doesn’t know Philbert exists. After a series of mishaps leaving Philbert unable to get Oliver’s attention and Oliver in despair of ever finding someone to have tea with, the two finally connect, and a beautiful, tea-filled friendship is born. Each finally has what they had been looking for and some cookies to sweeten the deal.
Children are likely to enjoy the comic irony that ensues as Philbert struggles to connect with Oliver while his attempts are all accidentally shut down. This comedy is arguably the books biggest strength, as it seems to lack a strong guiding message. The simple watercolor illustrations are not especially eye-catching and convey a sense of pastel tranquility; however, the characters are still emotive and cute. This book would be most appropriate for preschool or early primary audiences who would be willing to listen to a story without bright colors or catchy rhymes and diction.