A lonely boy awaits parental attention in this Dutch treat.
First-person, rhyming text, with occasionally faltering cadence, recounts a child’s (very) patient wait for his parents to play with him. Loose line and a flat aesthetic characterize the illustrations, which are finished in a cheery watercolor palette embellished with what appear to be tea stains from the bottom of a mug throughout the book. First his weary mother is waylaid by a visit from an aunt, and the boy is sent to occupy himself while they chat over the titular cup of tea. When the father comes home, he, too, wants to relax with a nice cup of tea before any playtime. Finally, while his parents are preoccupied, the child decides to take matters into his own hands and he sets up an evening tea party. Surely this will be an activity his tea-guzzling parents won’t refuse? Alas, after he’s assembled treats and stuffed toys around the table and has invited his parents into the room, the boy is chagrined to realize he’s forgotten to brew any tea for the party. Suddenly attentive on the final spread, his parents scoop him up into an embrace and, as he puts it, say “they’d rather have a special ‘cup of me’!”
A warming, happy ending. (Picture book. 3-5)