Rinn is used to life in their mountain village – learning to cook, looking after the Tea Dragons, and gathering out in the surrounding wood. But one day they wake a real dragon named Aedhan who fell asleep before the Tea Dragon Festival eighty years ago. With the aid of their family, especially their uncle and his partner, Rinn must find out the source of Aedhan’s enchanted sleep and help him feel welcome in the village he was meant to protect.
Like The Tea Dragon Society, the first of this series, The Tea Dragon Festival is an enchanting and adorable book. The illustrations are beautiful, the characters vibrant, and the plot immensely wholesome. Even in panels that lack words, the sense of community and love is clear. For younger readers, the beauty and magic is sure to captivate. The themes of acceptance and finding one’s place in the world will touch older readers. This low-tension read is perfect for kids, but this gorgeous fantasy world may pull in older readers as well.
The casual representation in this book is also amazing. From several nonbinary characters to the clear presence of many different ethnicities within the village to the widespread use of sign language in consideration of a deaf character, the depiction of this book ensures that hopefully everyone will be able to see themselves in it. Books that focus on diversity and representation are important. It is also important, however, that children’s books represent different types of children casually. Children who aren’t white or cisgender or who are disabled deserve to be seen. In the end, The Tea Dragon Festival is a wonderful and diverse read and suitable for readers of all ages.
Yours in love and literature,
Content warning(s): brief fight, blood/injury
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