West End local Jacqui Preugschat, has recently released her first book The Lovely, Beautiful and Very Elegant Tea Party of her series Tessa’s Books of Elegance. This book invites children, primarily those aged five to 12, to join the character of Tessa in creating a wonderful tea party.

Children will use the book to make invitations, decorations, food and much more. This book came about as Preugschat noticed a change in the way young people operate. “Overtime I noticed that technology had suddenly and dramatically influenced children in a lot of ways” she said. “Not all bad – however it can easily take over other important skills, talents, conversation and hospitality.”

About five years ago Preugschat started a fortnightly craft group for young girls. Activities ranged  from cupcake making to tee shirt design to re-purposing old clothes to making lip gloss and perfume. “We start off each session with afternoon tea and a chat and then I share some self-esteem building words before we start” said Preugschat. “I hoped the book would capture the essence of these wonderful sessions. My wish is that this series will encourage children to use their talents and discover new ones. I hope that it will inspire them to create, communicate and to show hospitality and kindness to others.”

Preugschat has worn many hats throughout her life including special education teacher, choir director and drama teacher. The common thread of all her pursuits however, is creativity. “At school I was always writing stories and plays” she said. “However, my passion for encouraging children to use their talents, express their creativity and to show kindness led me to write books that would foster these attributes.”

Childhood memories of embroidered tablecloths sprinkled with homemade delights and teacups of the most beautiful kind also inspired her classes and eventually her book. “I would be there with my mum, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunties and cousins … I loved these wonderful afternoons – they were comforting, encouraging, supportive … But they were more than that – the time spent together created memories that at the time seemed insignificant – yet became very significant to me years later – they were seeds sown 40 years ago that have now blossomed into Tessa’s Books Of Elegance.”

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