All dressed up for the tea party

Tea party guests along with “Big Mama” Moore and her helpers. (Contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

Fifteen prissy, dressed-up little girls enjoyed their very first tea party on a recent Saturday at Parnell Memorial Library. Children’s author Sheror Caton Moore shared with them how tea parties came about and some of her delightful children’s poetry.

The invitations asked that the children come dressed in their best tea party outfits, and as they entered the building, pretty hats, boas and gloves were added to their fancy attire. They all looked beautiful. Mothers and grandmothers accompanied their little ladies.

Moore, or “Big Mama” as she is called, told an intriguing story of the beginnings of tea parties and how they have evolved through the years. Then she read poetry from her recent publication, “Treasures in an Alabama Attic.”

“Big Mama” chatted with the children as they daintily ate their cookies, tiny sandwiches and fruit and drank tea from small cups. When they had finished their refreshments, she sat among them as she read from her book about the adventures of “Fuzz,” a little doll from the past.

Moore had discovered “Fuzz” in an old truck in the attic of their Victorian home; originally owned by Dr. Henry Harrison and his family, in the community of Dogwood near Montevallo. It’s a wonderful poetry book, coloring book and paper doll book, beautifully illustrated by Montevallo artist Martha Fulgham.

“Oh, Mama Ann,” said little Ellen Reid as she left the library. “That was more fun, and I learned how to hold my pinkie out when I drink my tea.”

Abby Wilson was excited, too, as she said, “They gave me these paper dolls and this recipe for grandmother’s cookies. I’m going to make some when I get home.”

Some of the other little girls enjoying the tea were Jordan Dunawa, Azzie Hudson, Caitlin Bearden, Brianna Collier and Reece Collier. Others were Anna Beth Chadwick, Abbey Broadhead, Becca Leigh Chadwick, Olivia Gilbert and Lydia Baggett, along with Kaitlyn Ozley, Lily Rozelle, Madelyn Reid and Kaitlyn Bragg.

Christie King, director of the library, said, “The party went even better than we expected. The preparation was very involved, but the little girls, mothers and grandmothers all had a fabulous time. We will definitely make it an annual event.”

“Treasures in an Alabama Attic” ($10) can be purchased at Come to the Waters Christian Book Store in Alabaster.

Two new children’s programs at Parnell Memorial Library are the Lego Club for boys, meeting after school on the fourth Fridays, and the American Girls Club, meeting on the second Fridays. Information: 665-9207.

Catherine Legg can be reached at clegg2@bellsouth.net.