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Tea Dragon #1

The Tea Dragon Society

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From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

71 pages, Hardcover

First published October 18, 2017

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About the author

Kay O'Neill

32 books2,860 followers
Kay O'Neill is an illustrator and graphic novelist from New Zealand. They are the author of Princess Princess Ever After, The Tea Dragon Society, Aquicorn Cove, and more. They mostly make gentle fantasy stories for younger readers, and are very interested in tea, creatures, things that grow, and the magic of everyday life.

On an Instagram post 17th December 2020 the author shared that they use they/them pronouns and prefers to be called Kay.

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5 stars
22,728 (53%)
4 stars
14,224 (33%)
3 stars
4,855 (11%)
2 stars
776 (1%)
1 star
260 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,361 reviews
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,152 reviews97.7k followers
September 22, 2021

“Memories don't just live inside you, Minette. They live in all the people and objects you share your life with.”

Friends, this was the literally cutest and most heartwarming book I’ve read all year. Also, the art in this book is probably my favorite art style of all time. I recommend this with my entire heart and soul.

This story is broken down into five parts; one for each season and then an epilogue. And during Spring, an apprentice blacksmith, Greta (who is getting trained by her mother), rescues a little dragon outside! Greta’s father recognizes the little dragon and knows who his owner is. And once Greta goes to return the little dragon, she gets an invite from the owner, Hesekiel, to come and learn all about the Tea Dragons!

Tea Dragons are basically just mini dragons that grow different herbs alongside their horns! And all the names of the dragons are because of their different herbs. The dragon that Greta saves is named Jasmine, but we also meet Rooibos, Chamomile, and a few others during the duration of this book.

Greta learns all about Tea Dragons, but also learns about a society that Hesekiel and his husband, Erik, are the last remaining members of. Greta also meets Minette, who is a young girl who was training to be a prophetess and is now having trouble remembering things. She left home, and is now working with Hesekiel and Erik, while also making a beautiful friendship with Greta.

But this story is truly about friendship, and how important it is to find a place in the world that will surround you with unconditional love. This is also a story about honoring the past, and traditions, and cultures, and not forgetting where you come from. And ultimately, this is a story about balancing those two aspects and living a life that you’re proud of and that makes you happy.

Overall, I loved this more than any word combination I could come up with. Friends, if you are looking for a beautiful book, with even more beautiful messages, that star people of color, and people with disabilities (someone in a wheelchair and someone living with memory loss), and LBGTQIAP+ characters, then look no further. This was nothing short of a treat to read, and I hope you all pick it up. Also, I desperately want my own Tea Dragon companion now.

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[2021 reread] still such a heartwarming masterpiece
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
301 reviews40.3k followers
June 25, 2019
I was NOT expecting the cute! This was so sweet and immersive. Where can I find my own tea dragon?

What a delight to read, definitely a new favourite and I'll be rereading this forever.
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,088 reviews6,590 followers
July 5, 2019
2019 -

"Memories don't just live inside you, Minette. They live in all the people and objects you share your life with."

2018 - hello this is the best little book in the whole entire universe can i please have 20 more books set in this world plz
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
732 reviews5,003 followers
August 1, 2022
You should probably drop everything you are doing and read this. Seriously. Tell your boss I said it was alright. This is an overload of adorableness in both the story and artwork that just demands to be enjoyed. The Tea Dragon Society is a quick read, but it will reverberate for a long, long time. O'Neill does such excellent work with world building, creating this cozy society full of cute dragons that grow tea on themselves (drinking it allows you to experience the past memories of the tea masters, which is a psychedelic good time) and plenty of LGBTQ and racial representation that doesn't announce itself but is lovingly immersed into the story. It is a beautiful little book about friendships, honoring traditions and being proud of who you are and what you can do.

Something I enjoy most is that at the end, O'Neill includes a Tea Dragon Handbook that details each of the dragon species with fun facts about them and some tea dragon lore. This is such a cute idea for a kids book as it gives them something to enjoy beyond reading the story (much like how kids love Pokemon guide books and such) while also expanding the world in which O'Neill created. There are--at present--two more books, each with variations on the handbook and both grahpic novels are just as fun.

The artwork is OUTSTANDING. O'Neill has a such a charming style that is bright and full of color as well as an adorable cottagecore aesthetic (shoutout to the young library patron that informed me of this). This is such a good mood read that will tug your heartstrings and perhaps get you to cry a few tears. Utterly adorable and absorbing, drop everything to check this out.


Profile Image for B .
99 reviews11.9k followers
July 25, 2019
THE CUTEST BOOK IVE EVER READ. From pursuing your passions to respecting the passions of others, to caring for each other and your pets!! I’m dumbfounded by how much I loved this and am so so happy I picked it up.
Profile Image for Gavin Hetherington.
665 reviews5,304 followers
January 5, 2021
This was so cute and wholesome omg!!! Read it in like 15 minutes and I just wish it was 7 hours longer - I love the vibes from this one, it’s so down to Earth and dreamy and cosy and whimsical and wonderful. What a beautiful little story. Illustrations were stunning too, really added more to the story!
Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
881 reviews3,016 followers
July 13, 2021

My feelings ⬇️💕

pre review

reviewers say this is the cutest thing they have ever read ~ well time to find out!

Can't believe I haven't read this book yet when every other day it pops up in my GR feeds.
Profile Image for Patricia Bejarano.
434 reviews5,291 followers
August 16, 2020
Este ha sido el cómic que más me ha gustado en mi vida y lo más bonito y precioso que he leído este año. Estoy enamorada.
Es cierto que no destaca por su trama, pero sus personajes entrañables y el bellísimo dibujo de la autora lo gana todo. Solo espero que se animen a sacar más sobre este mundo, porque falta muchísimo por descubrir junto a estos maravillosos personajes y sus dragones de té, que son las criaturitas más cuquis que he tenido el gusto de conocer en mi vida ^^
Creo que también es un acierto para los primeros lectores de cómics, quedarán encandilados con esta novela gráfica y sus valores.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,609 reviews4,999 followers
December 28, 2018
This is literally one of the best graphic novels I've ever read in my life. I can't even begin to express how much I cherished these precious characters, the sweet dragon babies, and the incredible range of representation. We have normalized QPOC rep all over the place (I mean, I'm not sure if anyone here is cishet and I'm so here for it), disability rep that is so beautifully done it made me cry, and I just loved the entire story endlessly. I know I'll be recommending this to anyone and everyone for a long, long time.
Profile Image for Steph.
477 reviews248 followers
June 23, 2021
i want to live inside this book!!!

i'm a sucker for warm, sweet, adorably-illustrated graphic novels, and the tea dragon society is the pinnacle of the genre. the story is charming, and the art is unbelievably cute!!

it's a short book, and divided into four chapters according to season. it feels nice and earthy.

our main character, greta, has loving blacksmith parents (who are both semi-androgynous, which is cool). greta is learning to smith, and she stumbles onto the practice of raising tea dragons. sweet and colorful lil creatures who grow herbs, tea leaves, and flowers on their heads!!!

greta learns from the wise tea masters, who happen to be a warm and friendly gay couple. and she slowly befriends minette, a shy and mysterious girl who has her own tea dragon, chamomile.

the tea dragon characters being cute

in these beautifully-illustrated pages we have friendship, reverence for tradition, and deep care for those in need. it's ridiculously warm and fuzzy. i want a tea dragon of my own!!
Profile Image for human.
628 reviews931 followers
April 28, 2021


Just, two things:

First, I felt that there wasn't much to the story? The further I got into the book, the more frantically I was hoping that there was going to be something that gave it a little more, I don't know, anything. By the time that I had finished, it felt really insubstantial.

Like, yeah, sure, the art is adorable and there's an incredible amount of unforced diversity, but there was nothing moving the book forward. Which, let's be honest, is probably why it was so short. I mean, I would definitely read an entire book about cute little dragons (literally why else would I be here), but I feel like I was expecting something more from this, especially character-wise.

While reading this, I felt that we were given a view out of a window into the story. While, yes, it kept everything light and charming, I didn't really connect/understand/appreciate the characters as much as I hoped I would.

Of course, that being said, I absolutely LOVED the art. And the concept as a whole, really. I mean, come on people, TEA DRAGONS?? It was so cute and something I don't think I've really seen before, which means that I was left with no choice but to love it.

Also, where could someone get a tea dragon of their own? Asking for a friend, of course.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,090 reviews17.4k followers
August 21, 2021
I’m not sure how to rate this.

The story needed… more.

I get that it’s middle grade, but it was far too simplistic and straightforward for my liking. I learned more about the Tea Dragons in the handbook that was included at the end of the book than what was told to us in the story.
I wish it was actually incorporated into the story.

The art was gorgeous and rich. But the story needed more development.
Profile Image for Rue.
274 reviews218 followers
November 5, 2020
I desperately need a tea dragon. Like right now!!😭
Profile Image for Mrinmayi.
155 reviews570 followers
December 29, 2020
*3.5 ✨

BUT the good news is that Sid LOVED this book!!

I see this as progress!!! If you are not aware...one of my 2021 goals is to convert her into a bibliophile lmao

As for the book..
I did like it...It was a good middle-grade book
BUT I had some high expectations
This author's other book Princess Princess Ever after is one of my all-time fav
The artwork in this was STUNNING
BUT I found it difficult to connect to the characters
I know this is supposed to be a fluffy and fun book
however..I think something was lacking
The tea dragons were adorable and cute

BUT the characters felt two dimensional
I still want to join the tea dragon society tho!!

Gonna continue the series !! I think I will like the next installments better!

Update 1
Buddy read with GR newbie
This idiot apparently does not UNDERSTAND the concept of GR and buddy reads😫😤😂
She freaking CALLED me just to say that she is starting the book SMH

This is ME rn😂
Ohh..and guys...she is NEW to the reading world
She REALLY wants to be a bibliophile (Mrin starts screaming )
Sooo..I am trying my BEST to be a good friend and show her our book world
Profile Image for ally.
76 reviews3,635 followers
February 7, 2022
my only complaint is that i wish she were longer :,)
can’t wait to read the other 2
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.2k followers
July 23, 2018
7/21/18 update: The Tea Dragon Society is the winner of the 2018 Eisner Award for Best Publication for kids 9-12! Yay, Katie O'Neill!

12/14/17: I admit I have not yet read Princess Princess Ever After, also from Katie O’Neill (I know! Where was I when the fairy dust was handed out?!). But I am on the bandwagon at last, following the story of blacksmith apprentice Greta in the world of tea dragons (What do you mean you don’t know what a tea dragon is?!). Well, you like tea parties, right?! And you like dragons, right? so, perfect, there are certain dragons, tea dragons, from which you get tea dragon tea leaves (What?! You can’t be serious! You aren’t going to tell me you don’t know where tea dragon leaves come from?! From the horns and antlers, silly, where else, duh??!)

Anyhow, Greta has this like friend, Minette, and they are very different but they are still good friends, and there’s this like tea dragon shop owned by these two gay guys Hesekiel and Erik. Yes, of COURSE you can form your own Tea Dragon Society—ooooooh!—with all your friends, yay! (This is ALL about the queering of the fairy tale, kids, with disabilities, colors, and sexual orientations.) And ev’ry illustration is A-DOR-A-BLE, ‘course! And I know what you’re thinking: Might Greta and Minette be more than friends, like Hesekiel and Erik!? Ooooh! We’ll just have to wait and see!

Blacksmiths? My grandfather, whose last name was Kuyper (or Cooper, or metal-worker) was a blacksmith, for a time, so I was in from page one! Anyway, in this book, blacksmiths were once as important as magicians, as they forged swords and stuff, in the old days. So: traditions, from the Old Days, awesome!

The question is: How can we hold fast to traditions (like blacksmithing and tea dragon care!) in a world that is changing SO FAST? Read on, I say! There’s not a lot of plot here, but who needs it?! There is way much energy and colors and feels and sweetness to sustain you, if you need these kinds of things, and who doesn’t?!

And there’s like this cool appendix with info on tea dragon care and societies and different kinda tea dragons--like Jasmine, Peppermint or Chamomile! And the info pages are set up almost already in the form of Tea Dragon TRADING CARDS: I know! Ooooh!! Coming soon! So awesome!

But seriously, I do think it is cute. I am NOT making fun of it! I have a ten-year-old daughter who loves this!! But watch out: You recall what happened when the Teletubbies came on the Scene? Watch out, world! You want a tea dragon now, too, I can definitely tell!
Profile Image for sarah.
377 reviews397 followers
October 5, 2020
"Memories don't just live inside you, Minette. They live in all the people and objects you share your life with.”

What a sweet, wholesome read!

At the surface this book is stunning, beautiful, gorgeous- all of the adjectives. But within the pages, similar, if not greater, beauty can be found.

In so few pages, this book presented and explored important topics in a simple and yet thorough way.

This is such a perfect book for younger readers. But for me personally, I felt that it was too short and with not enough development for my taste. I know I am outside its target audience and that the length is probably a good thing for little brains, but it didn’t have complete crossover appeal. Not that every middle grade book has to, but the best ones transcend age and anyone can get something out of.

That being said, for what it set out to do, it accomplished all of it and more. I would love to continue on with series, but I’m finding it pretty difficult to access considering it is not available online like the first or through my library. If you know anywhere I can find them it would be much appreciated!

If you haven’t picked up this gorgeous book yet, I would recommend it! It is such a short read that it will take you no time at all and boost the goodreads goal at the same time!

★★★☆☆.5 stars
Profile Image for Bhavya .
476 reviews819 followers
June 5, 2022
“Memories don't just live inside you, Minette. They live in all the people and objects you share your life with.”

~ Rating- 3 stars ~

Content / Trigger Warnings-
Minor Blood Depiction, Physical Injuries, Minor Violence, Paralysis

-No Mention of these in the review-

The Tea Dragon Society, by Kay O'Neill was a sweet read. It doesn't really have a plot, and the characters are a bit shallow, but the illustrations were really beautiful. I don't have much to say, and there's nothing to really 'review' about this, but I enjoyed my read. It was very short and didn't take me that long to finish. I would recommend it if you are looking for something fun.

Review written on 3rd October, 2021.

DISCLAIMER-All opinions on books I’ve read and reviewed are my own, and are with no intention to offend anyone. If you feel offended by my reviews, let me know how I can fix it.

How I Rate-
1 star- Hardly liked anything/ was disappointed
2 star- Had potential but did not deliver/ was disappointed
3 stars- Was ok but could have been better/ was average / Enjoyed a lot but something was missing
4 stars- Loved a lot but something was missing
5 stars- Loved it/ new favourite


This was nice. Review to come.
August 24, 2021

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I think this is one of the cutest things I've ever read, right up there with the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic comics. THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY is set in a fantasy universe filled with magical creatures. The heroine, Greta, is a goblin blacksmith with a black cat familiar and her friend, Minette, is some sort of unicorn/fawn prophetess. The two of them end up joining a gay couple, Hesekiel and Erik, who take care of tea dragons.

Tea dragons are tiny little dragons that can't take care of themselves and need to be raised and coddled. They sprout tea leaves from their heads, and different dragons make different teas. It's a consuming project because obviously, there are easier ways to get tea, but to Hesekiel and Erik, it is an art where the labor is its own reward.

This is a really cute graphic-novel aimed at children, revolving around themes of patience, passion, friendship, kindness, loyalty, and understanding. It reminds me a lot of the TV shows I used to watch on PBS when I was a kid, actually. Things like Sagwa and Dragon Tales. It just has that wholesome, magical vibe that quality children's programming has. And yet, it doesn't feel condescending or preachy at all.

Very cute. 100% recommend.

5 stars
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
3,938 reviews2,166 followers
September 16, 2021
Have you read something which you find yourself muttering 'so cute!' for every page you read?

Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
1,966 reviews1,383 followers
December 29, 2021
First Read: May 2020, Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Second Read: December 2021, Rating: 5/5 stars

The pastel-tones of this artwork and adorable features of each character ensured I was going to enjoy this one, but the diverse cast and heart-warming story-line cemented it. There's three things I need in my life, right now:

- This artwork printed and plastered across all of my walls.
- My very own baby tea dragon to love and protect.
- A nice cup of tea!
Profile Image for Xandra (StarrySkyBooks).
116 reviews147 followers
September 9, 2019
I loved it so much. I was literally in tears because of how precious and beautiful the story and artwork are.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, and I will be reading it again and again!

(My only complaint would be that, I think it could have been much longer. I read it in about 30 minutes!)
Profile Image for aphrodite.
371 reviews856 followers
December 8, 2019
this was the cutest story with great rep, the most beautiful art style, and adorable dragons

pls if someone could direct me towards the nearest rooibos I would much appreciate it
Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,361 reviews

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