Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons

Mixed Media

Tosh loves his Grandma Honey’s delicious tea cakes and the stories she tells him of their ancestors, a people once enslaved. Honey’s stories transport Tosh to another time and place where people picked cotton and sang as they worked. Through Honey’s words, Tosh meets his great-great-great-great-grandma Ida, who baked tea cakes for her master’s family but was forbidden to share any with the slaves—at risk of being whipped if caught.

Tosh begins to worry when he realizes that Honey is becoming forgetful, even struggling to recall the tea cake recipe. With his mother’s help, Tosh takes over baking the tea cakes. He also recites Honey’s narrative so that it won’t be forgotten. E.B. Lewis’s warm illustrations complement this story, which celebrates freedom from slavery, love between generations, and the importance of keeping family history alive. Ages 5 and up. (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.