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Tea Cakes for Tosh
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Tea Cakes for Tosh

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  147 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Tosh loves his grandma Honey and her delicious golden tea cakes. When she tells the story of how the cookies became part of their family, he feels like he's flying back in time. But then one day, Honey starts forgetting things, even an ingredient for the tea cakes. Inspired by his love for his grandma and respect for his family's heritage, Tosh finds a way to give Honey an ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 6th 2012 by Putnam Juvenile
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Kelsey
Age: K-2nd grade
History: Slavery
Family: Grandma
Tough Issue: Alzheimer's

A well constructed story that discusses two unique issues--slavery and Alzheimer's--and blends it around a family's recipe for cookies. The illustrations are emotionally evocative and I love that every other page depicts an ingredient of the tea cakes on a recipe card.
Amanda
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5th-grade, diversity
A story about the relationship between a young boy and his grandmother. She starts to lose her memory and he helps her remember their favorite story about the tea cakes her grandmother used to make while enslaved. Beautiful imagery and detailed illustrations. Really makes you want to make the tea cakes! And you can because they give the recipe at the end.
Kate
This book packs a punch. I was tearing up by the end. Grandma gets Alzheimers or dementia of some kind and Tosh helps her remember important things. Nice illustrations - this felt like a real grandma. Lewis also has a good ear for dialogue, making it all the more realistic (and therefore heartwrenching).
Lewiston-Altura Librarian
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a sweet book about grandparents and grandchildren sharing family history. But it also the sad story many of know about dementia. It would be a great story to start that conversation with young ones.
I appreciate the recipe in the book for tea cakes!
Debbie
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
So sweet! Love the message about Grandma getting older and how we can be the memory for our elders. I also always love a book centered around baked goods! (Providing the recipe sealed the deal!)
Viviane Elbee
Beautiful, touching story.
Jill
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Tea cakes actually came to the U.S. via British colonists, who liked these sweet round buttery cookies served with their afternoon tea. While American slaves working in the kitchens were not allowed to eat them, they were required to bake and serve them. Following the emancipation of the slaves, however, African-American cooks continued to make them, and they became a tradition in black families.

Tea Cakes for Tosh celebrates that tradition with the touching story of young Tosh who loves spending
...more
Tasha
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Tosh loved spending time with his grandma Honey, who baked him tea cakes. She told him stories of the cakes, dating all the way back to his great-great-great-great-grandma Ida who made the best tea cakes around. But those tea cakes were not for her children, they were for her owners since she was a slave. Sometimes though, she would make some extra cakes for her children to promise that things would change. Honey started to forget things, like where she parked her car and phone numbers. Then one ...more
Samantha
A beautifully written story about the special bond a grandmother and her grandson share. Tosh's time spent with his grandma Honey are spent eating delicious homemade tea cakes and listening to Honey tell stories about their family from generations past. When Honey begins to forget things it is Tosh who helps her and carries on the tradition of sharing tea cakes and stories.

The watercolor paintings perfectly support this story. When Honey tells stories the color palette changes to reflect the jou
...more
Marsha
Gentle and sweet like the titular cookies, “Tea Cakes for Tosh” is a child’s look at the distant past and the worrying present. As the story unfolds, Tosh’s grandma Honey starts forgetting things and many adults know what such memory loss could mean for the unfortunate individual.

Tosh’s determination to be of help to his forgetful grandma is inspiring to read and tugs gently at the heart. Attaching his grandma’s memory to food is a very convincing tactic to take; anyone who has a favorite food
...more
Amelia
Sep 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Tosh loves when his grandma Honey bakes her golden tea cakes, from a recipe passed down from when his grandma’s grandma’s grandma was a slave cook on a plantation. But then grandma Honey starts forgetting things, like where she parked the car, a phone number, and even the ingredients for the beloved tea cakes. But luckily Tosh has already been taught how to make them, and helps Honey remember the story behind the tradition. An important lesson of learning traditions, recipes, and family history ...more
Esmeralda Gregg
This book tells of the special relationship between Tosh and his Grandma Honey. Tosh loves listening to Grandma Honey tell family stories. His favorite is about the special tea cakes that smell like vanilla and sunshine. When Grandma Honey prepares the cakes she tells the story of a great-great-great-great-grandma Ida's whose receive she is preparing and explains what life was like for slaves children. Unlike Tosh, the slave children weren't allowed to have any of the treats, though Grandma Ida ...more
Tameika King
Oct 08, 2013 added it
Shelves: libs-642
This book is about a little boy who loves to hear his Grandmother's stories. I loved this story. It reminded me of the relationship I had with my Grandma. I think that anyone who has a close bond with their grandmother would relate to the book. The illustrations are mostly in color but go to black and white whenever Tosh's grandmother is talking about the past. One thing that I would do with students is have them read the story and then write a journal entry about someone who they are really clo ...more
Shelli
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was such a beautifully written and touching story about a young boy who loves to hear his grandma talk about times past. Times in which neither of them lived, during a time of slavery and the struggles their ancestors went through. Grandmother had always told these stories with such detail they both felt as if they are being transported back in time as witnesses. However, when grandma gets older recalling these stories becomes challenging for her aging mind to recall. Through baking and lov ...more
Saba N  Taylor
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story about a boy who helps his grandmother remember a long and cherished family tradition. Tosh loves his grandmother's tea cakes and the story that goes with it. But when his grandmother begins to forget things, including how to make the family's time treasured tea cakes and their family story, he helps by making the cakes and telling her the story. It is a warming and heartfelt story that emphasis's the relationship of family, time honored traditions, treasuring family history and ...more
Christopher
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Lyons tells a story that at first seems like a simple tale of a grandmother baking for her grandson. Instead, it’s a tale that touches on the delicate subjects of slavery, passing on a legacy, and Alzheimer’s. While reading “Tea Cakes” I am transported to my own grandmother’s kitchen sitting at the table and waiting for teacakes. Lewis’s combination of colorful and black and white watercolors adds to the book’s flavor. Included is also a recipe for the tasty treats.
Christine
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I loved this story of family and the importance of oral history. As Grandma bakes tea cookies for Tosh she tells hime the story if his 4x great grandma Ida who was a slave on a plantation. One day Tosh's grandmother can no longer remember the story due to dementia; however, through her Tosh knows the story and in turn shares it with his grandmother. Beautiful illustrations by E.B. Lewis make the story even more special.
Alison Streb
Through the use of his grandma’s golden tea cakes, Tosh learns about his great-great-great-great grandma who used to be a slave. This story is very heartwarming and a story that emphasis’s the relationship of family and honors traditions. The story shows the little boy dealing with his grandmother’s aging and lapses in her memory, students may be able to relate to this with their own grandparents.
Allison Fortunato
I really enjoyed this story because Tosh never gave up on Honey. She had told him a lot of stories and made him teacakes and when she started to forget things he remembered and helped her out. My favorite part of the story was when Tosh made the teacakes for Honey. That was a very special gesture on his part and it was very thoughtful. In the story you could tell from the words of the story how touched Honey was that he did that.
Margaret Boling
12/27/2016 ** Beautiful story about memories, baking, and grandmothers. E.B. Lewis's illustrations - and use of color & sepia - enhance the poignant story about Tosh's time with his grandmother. This book would pair well with Saturdays and Teacakes (Laminack) and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (Fox).
pati
Heart warming book about a young boy and his grandmother and the relationship they have forged over a shared experience of making tea cakes. The history of the tea cakes is one that the boy learns well from his grandmother and then shares with her as she slips into the haze of dementia. The artwork is fabulous to boot!
Pamela Powell
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Charming story about a young boy and his grandmother. Grandmother Honey makes tea cakes (cookies) from a recipe passed down from Great-Great-Great-Great Grandma Ida who was a slave. As tasty as the cookies are, what really makes them special is the story that Grandmother Honey tells every time she bakes them.
Clay
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
This one really took me back to my Great Aunt Nonnie and her famous Tea Cakes. Every Christmas she and her sisters sent my sister and I each a tin and lifting the lid on a batch of them always brings back the best parts of my childhood. I have the recipe still, passed down the generations, in my Aunt Margaret's hand. Thank you, Kelly.
Racheal
One of the most beautiful stories I've ever read; it had me balling in the break room at work, hoping no one would come in any time soon. It has such a lovely grandson/grandmother story which manages to deal with the topics of slavery and Alzheimer's disease in such realistic and clear ways while staying light, and hopeful, and kind.
Andréa
Several topics--slavery, memory loss, the grandparent-grandchild bond, and baking--are blended together into this sweet book about a grandson who uses his lessons learned from his grandmother to help her as age takes its toll on her memory.
Dale
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Illustrations beautifully and realistically depict emotions. A tradition is past on from generation to generation as the reader watches a loved one's health decline. A heartwarming story that enlightens.
Lashunda Adams
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is about a boy named Tosh who spends lots of time with his grandma Honey making tea cakes and listening to old tales. One day his grandma begins to have memory loss and he was able to help her with things including making tea cakes. This book can be used for questioning.
Jim
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
a young boy begins the journey of his mother's alzheimers. not scary, v. helpful and beautifully illustrated by E B Lewis.
some of the best times i had as a kid were w/my Mom and sister as they cooked and invited me to "help"

this book is memories, added to it is the story of aging.
Lizzie
Tosh helps his aging grandmother make teacakes and share the story of the family.
The characters have real emotions. The illustrations do a great job of conveying confusion (especially with a bluish haze), remembrance and love.
Tracy
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a great inter-generational story. It hits a little bit on memory and aging.
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Kelly Starling Lyons is a children's book author and founding member of The Brown Bookshelf (www.thebrownbookshelf.com), a team of authors and illustrators dedicated to raising awareness of black children's book creators. As a kid, she rarely saw stories for young readers that featured characters of color. Her mission is to make sure children today have a different reality. Her books include NEATE ...more
More about Kelly Starling Lyons