tea cakes for tosh

Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

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 day, she forgot how to make tea cakes.  Luckily, Tosh knew just how to help.

Lyons has created a relationship between grandmother and grandchild here that is warm and loving and filled with sweet baked good too.  She shows the importance of generation in a family by tying in the history of the tea cakes.  I appreciate seeing a boy’s relationship with his grandmother where the boy is also interested in his heritage and being in the kitchen. 

Lewis has illustrated the book with realistic watercolors that capture the relationship of the two main characters.  He switches to black and white images when family history is discussed and shows the tea cakes on recipe cards too.  The entire book is filled with warm colors that speak to the sunny relationship being depicted.

A beauty of a book, this picture book celebrates family heritage, grandparents and the power of food to bring people closer together.  Appropriate for ages 5-7.

Reviewed from library copy.