PPPF: Arianna and the Strawberry Tea…Celebrating Uniqueness


Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review.

Did you know that December is READ-A-NEW-BOOK MONTH?

The holiday season is upon us…I know that many bloggers will be reviewing holiday-themed books.  Here’s one that celebrates, not Christmas, but a child’s unique qualities.

Show Me How Build Your Child's Self-Esteem,Vivian Kirkfield

Arianna and the Strawberry Tea

Written by Maria Faulconer

Illustrated by Katy Arnsteen

Publisher: Ideals Children’s Books (Hambleton Hill Publishing) 1998

Ages: 4 and up


Believing in oneself, confidence, rule-bending


One snowy evening, Arianne and her parents arrive at a posh hotel.  While her parents are dealing with the taxi and the luggage, little Arianna walks into the hotel and charms the housekeeping staff, the doorman, the manager of the hotel dining room and all of the restaurant patrons.  When her parents discover her in the dining room and inform her that this hotel does not allow children, all of Arianna’s new friends refuse to let them leave and Arianna and her parents are given the Presidential Suite.


Why do I like this book:

As I read this story, I was reminded of the Fancy Nancy series.  The illustrations and story are charming…and Arianna charms everyone she meets.  This is a wonderful book for children who need an infusion of confidence…and, at the back of the book, are some recipes for the items Arianna ordered, an infusion of Strawberry Tea and delicious-looking Chocolate Tarts.

Related Activities:



Photo courtesy: http://www.devonportchocolates.co.nz

The recipe in the picture book calls for heavy cream and is, perhaps, a little complicated for very young children and busy parents.  Here’s a much easier way to do it so that your child can help and it will take only a few minutes.

You will need: One package instant chocolate pudding, milk, small ready-made tart shells, can of whipped cream and a bowl.  If you want to make this treat a little healthier, you can use organic pudding mix and whipped cream.

  1. Make the chocolate pudding according to package instructions.
  2. Spoon chocolate pudding into each tart shell.
  3. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
  4. You can decorate the whipped cream with candy sprinkles or other mini-candies for a more festive look.
  5. Keep in the refrigerator in a covered container.
  6. These make lovely gifts for neighbors or teachers.

Why not have a tea party for your child and a few of his or her friends?

33 thoughts on “PPPF: Arianna and the Strawberry Tea…Celebrating Uniqueness

    • That’s the other character Arianna brought to mind…Eloise!  Thanks for reminding me,Pat.  I actually have a photo of my daughter (when she was about 4 or 5) with those exact pig-tails…all curly-curly…but blonde. 🙂  I’ll try to post it one day on my blog.


  1. Oh, you remind me I should make some chocolate cream pie! Chocolate pudding is super easy to make even without a mix and my kids and I keep talking about making it but we never do. I may go for it this weekend, now that I’ve got a reminder.


    • Milka…CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE (I think we called it ‘Boston Cream Pie’ on the east coast) is one of my all-time FAVORITES!!!!How do you make the pudding without a mix…I actually hate most mixes because they usually have lots of artificial stuff in them. 🙂


      • Yes, I do! It’s very basic: milk, corn starch, sugar and cocoa powder. I have to get a recipe for the proportions but I know it’s 1/4 of a liter of milk for 25g of corn starch. But that doesn’t help you much, right? 😉

        My son and I had planned to make some this afternoon. Then the big ceiling light in the garage fell and almost broke my windshield so I had to take care of that… He remembered about the pudding after dinner time so it was disappointing. Hopefully tomorrow.


  2. Had to take a deep breath when I saw the chocolate tarts! I’m in the mood for tea now! I have ‘hosted’ a few tea parties for the kid’s birthdays in school, and I still have all the ‘silver’ for it – I may just have to have a few fine friends over!


  3. Thanks for making me drool all over my computer, Vivian! 😉

    Seriously, this book sounds delightful, and reminded me of a refined Eloise as well.

    The friend I often travel with enjoys posh hotel teas as much as I do — I should get her this book!


    • Bethany…how lovely to see you here! I really need to do something with the Pinterest account/board I recently set up…haven’t done anything because I don’t know what to do. 🙂 The tarts look awesome, don’t they? And the book is a really sweet find. 🙂 I’m excited to be part of the new Google+ Kidlit community…it’s always great to connect with people who love children and picture books. 🙂


  4. Well, you’ve won me over with this one VIvian! FIrst off, chocolate tarts? Yes please! Second, the book reminds me a little of Eloise, who loved in the Plaza Hotel in NYC where I grew up. The story sounds charming and fun. And when my oldest daughter was tiny, she used to make me strawberry tea in the bathtub every night, only she couldn’t say strawberry properly, so it was caaberry tea 🙂 Thank you for making me think of all those happy cups of caaberry tea 🙂


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