This book probably counts as a beginning reader but it's not labeled as such and for me, it was just a great story. Writing letters was a very big thing for me when I was a kid and so I'm sure the idea of sending out invitations and watching the mail for responses was something that resonated. I also love the imaginative way that Elizabeth and Edward handle their picnic plans that were spoiled by the rain. Their father suggests an indoor picnic, and I can only imagine mini me loved the idea of doing things differently, an INDOOR picnic? How absurd! They don't let it stop their fun and they find ways to still do all the things they wanted to do outside.
Here's a sweet Harper Collins link to How a Book is Made featuring Aliki.
Aliki, or Aliki Brandenberg, was born 1929, in Wildwood Crest, NJ; Education: Graduated from Philadelphia Museum School of Art (now Philadelphia College of Art), 1951. Hobbies and other interests: Macrame, weaving, music, baking, traveling, reading, gardening, theater, films, museums. Muralist and commercial artist in Philadelphia, PA, and New York, NY, 1951-56, and in Zurich, Switzerland, 1957-60; commercial artist, writer, and illustrator of children's books in New York, NY, 1960-77, and London, England, 1977—. Has also taught art and ceramics. She was also married to the author of this book! Hurrah!