The Tea Dragon Tapestry – Katie O’Neill

  The Tea Dragon Tapestry – Katie O’Neill, Oni Press, 9781620107744, 2020 

Format: PDF Review Format (Hardcover available September, 2020)

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Fantasy

 What did you like about the book? This is the third book in the Tea Dragon series and we are back to the characters in the first book as their stories continue. Minette and Greta continue their friendship as they learn more about themselves, what their passion is, and what is expected of them. Minette continues to explore her past and her sorrow and how this relates to where she will go in the future.  Greta has a wonderful opportunity to work as a apprentice blacksmith  as long as she can create a piece, as a test, that will show her skills. Hesekiel and Erik are back as well and they are enjoying their new life in a more quiet and rural setting. All these characters come together to share their joys, sorrows, disappointments and triumphs to help forge their own special paths in the world.

The plot of this book, and also the others in the Tea Dragon series, is sort of loose and fluid with no real solid direction or path. This book was a joy to read, however, simply because of the pure and genuine message of finding happiness and making new friends and family. There is definitely a message about preserving lost arts such as tea making, cooking, blacksmithing, and just a general message about appreciating the more simple things in life.

One part I really enjoyed was when Greta had to create a masterpiece blacksmith work in order to prove herself to be an apprentice. She really struggled with what to make, but in the end decided to make something from her heart. Greta was caring for a tea dragon who was left alone after its owner passed away. No matter what Greta did, this tea dragon seemed very sad and depressed. Greta decided that she would make a beautiful bowl for her tea dragon as a gesture that, no matter what, the tea dragon would always have a place for a meal in her home. When the master blacksmith saw the piece, he was very impressed because he realized that one of the things he was missing from his own work was passion and emotion. He could teach Greta the skills, but she could teach him to put love into each project.

Anything you did not like about the book. One of the characters in this story, Erik, is now back to being disabled–he was in the first book but not in the second. This really bothers me because I am not sure why it is happening. I do find there are times when the story seems a little disjointed. I cannot put my finger on it, but it seems to lose a flow and I need to redirect to something else while I am reading. A little distracting, but I could still enjoy the story.

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of six and nine years old, especially if they are a child who enjoys fantasy and mystical creatures.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, anyone who works with children between the ages of six and nine years old.

Where would you shelve it? Graphic Novels

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, I liked this one the best of the three Tea Dragon series because I felt there were some positive messages that would be good for young children to see.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: June 29, 2020

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