Babette Donaldson, Author

Babette Donaldson

Babette was born in Houston, Texas where she first was distracted from her writing by a career as an Occupational Therapist with a specialty in child and adolescent psychiatry. Working at the Austin State Hospital, she used writing, art, music and drama and physical exercise as her primary tools to work with the institutionalized children. She also lived in Germany and worked in the English speaking schools for both military and diplomatic services.

Moving to San Francisco in the early 70’s, writing and art became her focus. Completing her creative writing degree then continuing to work in ceramic sculpture.

“Each semester there would be a new assignment that related to tea. Teapots, both functional and abstract, were constantly in process. Making tea bowls was a meditation. Living in San Francisco provided an opportunity to experience tea from other cultures. Japantown and Chinatown were filled with antique teawares and tea as I had never seen it before. My passion for tea was fueled by the way in which it so many things in my life together.”

She is now living in Nevada City with her husband. Their two sons are both in college and she enjoys the freedom to write, travel and teach what inspires her about tea.


Babette Donaldson visiting a tearoom, An Afternoon To Remember

Author, Babette Donaldson reading “Emma Lea’s First Tea Party” to children at An Afternoon To Remember Tearoom, Newcastle, CA

Contact Babette

  • The Emma Lea Books

Book Reviews

This is a very special book about family traditions, bonding and growing up. The story of Emma Lea is delightful. If you like Fancy Nancy, you will love Emma Lea. ~ ~ ~ Jill Vanderwood
Oh, I do love these books. They are perfect for an afternoon read with a cuddly grandchild. Lots of information and the art work is enchanting. ~ ~ ~ Judy Wright
Both the watercolors and the well thought out story are beautifully done. I liked the fact that Emma Lea's best friend is a boy. I appreciated that logical explanations were given to the little girl for the wishes being "granted" and how she realizes the teapot not actually being "magic" didn't make it any less "special". ~ ~ ~ K. Lio
This book takes a look at tranquility, purity, harmony, and respect taught through the experiences of the Chanoyu tea ceremony. I know that this book will be infused into the study my students do of the Japanese culture. Once again the author and illustrator together have created a beautiful keepsake book for children. ~ ~ ~ J. Gilmour
I really enjoyed this book with my little girl because I felt it introduced children to "helping out" and lets them know just because we have to do chores and make preparations, even for tea parties, that it doesn't mean we can't have fun while doing so and the biggest lesson to be learned from Emma Lea's Tea With Daddy is that spending time together is the most important gift of all!
This is a wonderful story of a little girl's dream with the magic lamp. To my delight, it combines fantasy with family values and reality. My granddaughter loves it. ~ ~ ~ Marianne Kummell
Babette Donaldson tells this story with a beauty and sparseness that mimics the rituals of the ceremony and Jerianne Van Dijk illustrates the scenes with an impressionistic style, drawing the reader into the folds of Emma Lea's kimono and into the tea house with purity, tranquility, and harmony. ~ ~ ~ Ginger Manley
I read Emma Lea's Tea Party and was immediately moved to send it to my niece Emma. She is 4 years old. She absolutely loves the book and thinks it is about her. Such a beautiful tale with illustrations to match. A little girl can weave fantasies about this book. I can hardly wait until the next Emma Lea book! ~ ~ ~ Penny Hastings
This story brings to life family traditions and the value of giving 'real' and meaningful gifts from the heart. It also shows the importance of family in creating great moments in a child's life. I read this to my 5 year old niece, and both she and her mother were captivated by the story. ~ ~ ~ Carol Scuderi

Author, Babette Donaldson

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