There’s one book that you should keep your eyes out for this winter: The Tea Party in the Woods, by Akiko Miyakoshi. It’s a wonderful, heartfelt story about a young girl who stumbles upon a tea party in the middle of the forest near her house.

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I came across this book in a local bookstore by mistake: the cover, with its fantastic, stark oil pastel illustrations and occasional flash of color caught my eyes and drew me in completely. I bought the story without a second thought. 

What’s kept me picking up and reading the book over and over again is how utterly wonderful it is: it’s a modern sort of fairy tale with a simple story at its core.

A young girl sets off after her father to deliver a pie to her grandmother on the other side of the forest. While on the way, she trips and falls, crushing the pie, and comes across a strange gathering in the midst of the forest.

Her new friends help her deliver her parcel by the end, delivering a simple message: you’re never alone in the woods, and you’re never far from friends.

This is the perfect sort of story to read at any point in the winter months – but it feels like it’s the sort of book that will make for a great holiday tradition: it’s a book about friends, gatherings and helping one another – all lessons that are perfect for any season.