Last Week on Inked Brownies

Two children’s books’ mini-reviews: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires/The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

Because I love picture books, just for myself, I occasionally request one online. This time, I couldn’t choose…so I requested both and got approved for both. Yaay!

These two books are very different from each other, but each one is lovely in its own way.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires


A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing: perspective!

I chose this book because of the illustrations and because there’s a dog in it. He also happens to have about the same coat pattern as my dog (he’s clearly ‘helping’ me in the kitchen here as always):


Yes, I have a soft spot when it comes to picture books that involve dogs (or any animal really). I loved this little story in which the little girl’s dog also happens to be her assistant. Together they’re trying to craft the MOST MAGNIFICENT THING! However, as the short synopsis above here already kind of mentions: the most magnificent things usually aren’t built in one go. It takes perseverance, perspective and a little help from your friends!

If you’re a dog person and like to show something to kids about the friendship between a dog and a human, this one is certainly recommended! I notice a lot of kids are scared of dogs and often, it’s due to one (or both) parents being afraid of them as well. You don’t necessarily have to conquer your own fear, but passing it on to your children is not okay mkay. So ALSO for people who are afraid of dogs and have kids, this picture book can help in showing them (and maybe even yourself) that you don’t have to be afraid, but that a dog can truly be your best friend!


An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.




The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi


Kikko sets out after her father with a forgotten pie for Grandma. When she arrives at a strange house in the wintry woods, a peek in the window reveals that the footprints Kikko had been following did not belong to her father at all, but to a bear in a long coat and hat!

My goodness, the illustrations in this one are wonderful! I’m no expert on this, but I believe everything has been drawn with crayons, using black mostly, but with colour splashes here and there, giving the book an eerie fairytale-like atmosphere.

It all begins with a Little Red Riding Hood retelling: a little girl sets out into the woods to bring a pie to her grandmother. I kept thinking it was about to get very creepy and if this hadn’t been a children’s book, the horror options would’ve been endless. Yet, it was a children’s book and nothing creepy happened…I think. The illustrations make this a great picture book to read together with your children. Or someone else’s children of course.


If you just like to look at pretty drawings and/or suggestive creepiness yourself, I would also recommend spending a few bucks on this one! A lovely asset to any bookshelf. I give it 4.5 brownies, because it totally depends on your mindset what you make of this book. After reading a lot of webcomics from Emily Caroll recently, I was expecting hearts to be ripped out any second or, you know, some other gory stuff. The drawing below is the perfect example of what I mean:


MY first interpretation was “OMG, she’s going to DIE! Crazy psycho eyes all around the table!”. But if you look at it through the eyes of a child, it’s just a bunch of furry, friendly animals, having a tea party. When artwork has a different effect on different people, you know it’s good! Or I’m just scarred for life after seeing too much horror for the past decades…

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About Anne (231 Articles)
Dutch book reviewer who reviews in English. Grammar nazis beware!! I like brownies. And chamomile tea.

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