Squishy McFluff: Tea with the Queen

illus. by Ella Okstad. 32p. (Squishy McFluff). Faber & Faber. Apr. 2019. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780571337279.
PreS-Gr 1-After a series of six early readers, Ava and her invisible friend Squishy McFluff have their first picture book. In this adventure, Ava and her invisible cat Squishy take a trip to London. While there, she and Squishy don't want to wait for the baby to have a snack or for Dad to look at his blister—they want to visit Buckingham Palace, now. Squishy really wants to see the spoiled corgi he's heard about, and when they spy an open door, they sneak into the palace. Soon they find the corgi and the surprised queen, who is pleased (eventually) to meet her first invisible cat. A delightful tea with goodies ensues. On their way out, the queen declares Ava a duchess and Squishy an earl and gives them souvenir crowns to take home. The final spread shows Ava and Squishy wearing their seemingly invisible crowns while heading home with Ava's parents, who seem completely unconcerned about her disappearance and reappearance. Despite a few forced rhymes, Jones's text works well overall. Okstad uses the same techniques as in the early reader series, with great facial expressions, good color choices, and just enough detail. Her illustrations help move the story along.
VERDICT Early readers and fans of all things royal will enjoy Ava and Squishy's latest outing.-Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

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