From the author–illustrator pair behind Infinity and Me, this funny, imaginative adventure explores cultural variations on one of the world's most common customs—drinking tea—while uncovering the ingredients to make it enjoyable whatever your status.

Each day when the Queen wakes up, three maids dress her, two more style her hair, and her butler James makes her tea. But when she grows dissatisfied with her brew, the Queen and James set out in search of the perfect cup. With each stop on their hot–air balloon journey, the Queen encounters charming and diverse young characters who expand her horizons—in the kitchen and beyond. From the author–illustrator team that created the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2012, Infinity and Me, comes another imaginative and hilarious story—complete with recipes from different cultures to aid readers in brewing their own perfect cup of tea.


Kate Hosford has worked as an elementary school teacher, a foster care worker, and an illustrator, all of which prepared her for her ultimate career as a children's book writer. She is the author of Big Bouffant (Carolrhoda, 2011) which won the Independent Publisher Book Award Bronze Medal. She also wrote Infinity and Me (Carolrhoda, 2012) winner of numerous awards, including the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book, a Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, and an ALA Notable Children's Book.

Gabi Swiatkowska was born in Tychy, Poland, and attended the Lyceum of Art in Bielsko-Biala, as well as the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. She has illustrated a number of award-winning picture books, including My Name is Yoon and Infinity and Me.


Swiatkowska’s delicious . . . details give Hosford’s round-the-world tale offbeat charm, and readers will smile as they watch the Queen shed her haughtiness and embrace her own capabilities.

Publishers Weekly

You have to love a book with the title of How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea. This children’s book written by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gail Swiatkowska is all about the Queen’s determination to find the perfect cup of tea.

Sororitea Sisters

The creators of the thought-provoking Infinity and Me are back with a tale of a pompous queen who travels around the world to find what she is missing at home. Every morning, the queen wakes up to a team of helpers who dress her, brush her hair, and—most important—make her tea. As her tea begins to taste progressively worse, she demands that the butler escort her via hot-air balloon to different countries in search of the perfect cup. The queen visits children in Japan, India, and Turkey, who treat her as just another friend. After snuggling with one child’s kitten, playing soccer with another, and dancing with the third, she requests a cup of tea from each child. The queen admits that they all taste better than her own, and eventually realizes that while tea leaves are important, friendship is the secret ingredient her brew was lacking. The book concludes with the entire group of friends meeting at the palace for a tea party with the new and improved queen. This book is a delightful multicultural experience, with text and illustrations that complement each other. The colored pencil drawings capture the whimsy of the world tour while offering intricate details. The facial expressions of the queen, who takes herself much too seriously, are juxtaposed with those of the sweet children, who are completely unimpressed by the monarch’s royal status. Each visit includes pictorial instructions for how tea is made in each culture. The story will appeal to a wide range of ages, as young ones will take to the adventure and characters, while older ones will benefit from learning about the lives of children from other countries. VERDICT Beautiful and charming, this addition will entice a variety of readers and could be useful during lesson planning.

School Library Journal

The book How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea by Kate Hosford is a unique and creative story about a privileged queen’s journey to find the perfect cup of tea. The author takes her readers on a journey to different lands and cultures with beautiful illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska. I especially loved each child’s unique instructions on how to make a cup of tea. I would have liked to see a few more places the Queen travels on her quest, but I thoroughly enjoyed what the author included. The attention to detail is educational and fun to read. As you read this cute children’s book, you will find out the Queen finds much more than the “perfect” cup of tea! I recommend this book for children ages 4-7.

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