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Tea Cakes for Tosh

by Kelly Starling Lyons
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Published by Putnam, 2012
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-399-25213-6

Ages 4-8

Tosh’s grandma Honey shares stories with her tea cakes that always begin with the words, “Long ago, before you and I were born … our people were enslaved.” Honey tells how Tosh’s “great-great-great-grandma Ida” baked tea cakes, too, and had to hide a few in her pockets in order to give her own children, slaves like her, a taste and “a promise of days to come.” When Honey begins to have problems with her memory – forgetting where she parked, a familiar phone number, and even how to make tea cakes – Tosh is able to give back the memories (including the tea cake recipe) she’d shared with him. The loving relationship between Tosh and his aging grandma provides both a reassuring snapshot of a family dealing with a common concern of aging, as well an enduring family history traveling through the generations. Warm watercolor illustrations effectively employ some sepia-toned pages to convey a sense of a time long past, while full-color spreads transport the reader back to the present. Highly Commended, 2013 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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