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Phoebe Dupree is Coming to Tea!

Written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Alea Marley

Abby is a relatable character who anxiously awaits her friend’s arrival to her house for tea time. She spends time meticulously preparing her table and refreshments, as this is how she regards Phoebe Dupree’s standards. Abby describes Phoebe as “speedy…smart…brilliant…sings like a bird…”. Abby works diligently to have everything “just so” for her tea time with Phoebe. 

Details crafted by author Linda Ashman and iIllustrator Alea Marley result in suspense and excitement for the reader. A story told in lively rhyme and bright illustrations, Abby has perfectly planned for a perfect time with her perfect friend:

Can you imagine where this story is going?  Ashman and Marley’s author-illustrator partnership playfully supports their audience to accept the reality of their visit:

Phoebe and Abby realize that fun can be had even when things don’t go as planned!


When exploring this book with some friends, Reah, a rising 2nd grader commented:

Ummmm. Phoebe Dupree isn’t all perfect. Look at what a mess her hair is!……it doesn’t seem loose and ‘down’…it’s every which way…. 

Once she noticed the bows in Reah’s hair she adjusted her thinking:

She must think that her hair is perfect. She put the the bows in, so I guess that’s what she thinks is best for her.

Our conversation about “perfect” continued throughout the book, and as we closed the book, Rhea remarked:

‘Perfect’ really doesn’t exist. It’s different for everyone and may keep changing.’ I never knew that.  

What a refreshing perspective, particularly as we start a new school year!

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