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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Emma Kate and Her Dazzling Tea Party, written by Melissa Balderas and illustrated by Rosemarie Gillen, is a sweet, colorful children's book about sisterly love, friends, and loyalty. Both parents and children will immediately connect with it. It's about a little girl named Emma Kate who has a little sister named Emily. Together, they have fun with tea parties, as many children do. But what happens when older sister Emma Kate is invited to a friend's tea party, and little sisters aren't allowed? This presents a dilemma for Emma Kate, who wants to go to the party, but doesn't want to hurt her little sister's feelings by leaving her out. Big sister has a choice to make. Will she choose her little sister or her friends?
The award-winning Melissa Balderas knows how to touch little hearts and big hearts alike, using simple phrasing, adorable images, and a story that plays with family relationships in a memorable way. The story isn't just about the dilemma. It starts out showing the personalities of the sisters, what they like to do, how they interact and include their mom. Later, Grandma is introduced. Emily is nervous about her first ballet recital, and Emma Kate tells her not to worry, she'll be there with her, as they are both going to perform This shows how protective Emma Kate is of her little sister. Backstage just before the curtain goes up, Emma Kate's friend Milly informs her that little sisters aren't invited to the Dolly and Me tea party. This bothers Emma Kate, but she hides it behind a smile during the performance. Later, it bothers her so much that she is compelled to come up with her own idea about how to resolve her dilemma, and the story ends with a solution that pleases everyone. This is a book you'll want to read over and over, maybe at tea party time, maybe at naptime or bedtime. As a writer of children's books myself, I highly recommend the family-focused Emma Kate and her Dazzling Tea Party by Melissa Balderas.