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_Saturdays_and_Teacakes_

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Author:
Lester L. Laminack

Illustrator:

Chris Soentpiet

Gr K-5/ Ages 5+
32 pages/picture book
11" X 11"

ISBN # 1-56145-303-X
$16.95 US
$24.50 CAN

Peachtree Publishers
1700 Chattahoochee Ave
Atlanta, GA 30318
(800) 241-0113
www.peachtree-online.com

  • Kansas State Reading Circle 2005
  • The Southeastern Booksellers' Association
  • Georgia Children's Picture Book Award 2005-2006
  • Children's Book Sense 76 Pick 2004
  • Master Reading List, Volunteer State Book Award 2006-2007
  • Annual Exhibition of the Society of Illustrators 2005


ABOUT THIS BOOK:
He can't wait for Saturdays. Every Saturday morning, he rolls his bike out of the garage and coasts down his steep driveway. Pedal, pedal, p-e-d-d-a-l-l-l.up the hill, and down the other side. Finally he swerves onto the gravel path, and there's Mammaw, sitting on her porch.waiting for him. No one else. Just him.

Saturdays are full of the rich smell of newly mown grass, the crick-craack of the porch glider, the satisfying bite into a fresh tomato sandwich. But the very best part of the day comes when Mammaw looks over at him and says, I reckon I know a boy who'd like something sweet to eat.

Every Saturday he follows his grandmother into her sun-splashed kitchen, and before long the teacakes are in the oven and the room is filled with a smell sweeter than summer gardenias. Laminack's graceful prose and Soentpiet's luminous paintings capture the delight we'Ave all felt in the presence of someone who loves us dearly-and together they remind us that love always sweetens the best family recipes .

MY THOUGHTS OF “SATURDAYS AND TEACAKES ”: This story is set in the author's hometown. To get a feel for this place, I traveled to Heflin, Alabama to take pictures and sketch. While there I was hoping to find a model to portray the main character. With the help of the town's local elementary school, I met Luke. I asked him if he wanted to be in my book. The 8 year-old Luke grinned an aw-shucks grin and deflected his sweet smile. Next I needed to scout for the model of the grandmother. The author's mom volunteered to model for me-making this book an even special tribute to the author and his "Mammaw".

I read books and studied pictures to make sure the bike, clothes, the tools in the kitchen, the gas pump, and even the lawn mower I paint represented the 1960s era.

This is a simple lyrical story that will remind readers of a special time spent with their own grandparents. - Chris Soentpiet


Book and CD Edition
ISBN # 978-1-56145-513-3
$19.95
Narrated by Lester Laminack
Total running Time: 23:26

 

Saturdays_and_teacakes_dvd_

BOOK REVIEW:
Readers will have a hard time resisting this cover: a grinning boy of nine or ten is lord of the pile of treats in front of him: teacakes he bakes with his grandmother as the culmination of their Saturday visits. Also on the weekly agenda: mowing Mammaw's lawn and enjoying sandwiches crafted with her just-picked tomatoes. Set in 1964 in Heflin, Alabama, there's little tension in this vignette--riding his bike there safely through the rural countryside is the hardest part of the boy's day. The impeccably rendered paintings illustrate with astonishing accuracy the slightly long text and capture the details of the time: gasoline pumps and automobiles in the service station, the boy's bicycle, and kitchen furnishings that suggest an even earlier time. The author crafted this as a tribute to a childhood tradition with his grandmother, to whom the book is dedicated; while not all of us had his childhood, filled with sunshine and smiles, this nostalgic look back offers up the childhood many of us wish we'd had. -Kirkus Reviews (2/14/04)

Every Saturday morning, the young narrator pedals his bike through town, passing familiar landmarks like the bank and the gas station, until he reaches his grandmother’s house.  The two share a special day talking, doing chores, and finally baking and feasting on Mammaw’s special teacakes.  Drawing on his childhood in Heflin, AL, the author splendidly re-creates those nostalgic scenes, carefully bringing the memories to life by describing the sunny kitchen, the crunch of gravel under bicycle wheels, and the sweet aroma of the cakes.  The brilliant watercolor paintings glow with light and idyllically capture the world of yesterday.  Older readers may enjoy sharing this book with their grandparents, and teachers might incorporate it into lessons about writing descriptive memoirs.—School Library Journal (4/04)


In this heartwarming nostalgic book, the narrator recalls spending his childhood Saturdays with his grandmother. Every part of the day -- riding his bicycle to her house, mowing her lawn, baking and eating sugary teacakes together -- is expressed in elegant, evocative prose and resplendent watercolor illustrations. –Child Magazine (2/05)
Every Saturday morning, the young narrator pedals his bike through town, passing familiar landmarks like the bank and the gas station, until he reaches his grandmother’s house.  The two share a special day talking, doing chores, and finally baking and feasting on Mammaw’s special teacakes.  Drawing on his childhood in Heflin, AL, the author splendidly re-creates those nostalgic scenes, carefully bringing the memories to life by describing the sunny kitchen, the crunch of gravel under bicycle wheels, and the sweet aroma of the cakes.  The brilliant watercolor paintings glow with light and idyllically capture the world of yesterday.  Older readers may enjoy sharing this book with their grandparents, and teachers might incorporate it into lessons about writing descriptive memoirs.—School Library Journal (4/04)

The book tells the wonderful story of a boy's memorable visits to his grandmother every Saturday afternoon. Lester explores that special love between a child and his grandmother with great honesty and integrity, for the story is autobiographical. The time-out-of-time interlude described brings all of us back to our own childhood's enchanted moments.

The art is by Chris Soentpiet and is nothing less than extraordinary. The detail is so beautiful that the reader is totally enveloped in the magic of the world recreated by Laminack and Soentpiet.

Although the publisher states this books is for ages 4-8, we can see it as a lovely read at many levels, including being read to older family members and friends. We feel it's something children will go back to again and again for the feelings of comfort and stability it engenders. Just $16.95 for this treasure at your local bookstore. -Patricia Broderick and Allen Raymond for Teaching K-8 (4/04)



Illustrator Soentpiet notes that his model is Norman Rockwell, and this picture book, set in rural Alabama in 1964, certainly evokes Rockwell's idyllic visions of family togetherness. It's Saturday, and everyone is smiling as a young white boy rides his bike through his small town and over the hills to his grandmother's house, where she sits on the sunlit porch: "She was waiting for me. No one else. Just me." Detailed watercolor pictures show the loving bond across generations as the boy mows the lawn in her bright garden, Grandma bakes him delicious teacakes in the kitchen, and together they listen to the calls of the blue lays around them. Most young children won't respond to the nostalgia and period detail, but the pictures are gorgeous, and the bond between child and grandparent is timeless.—Hazel Rochman for Booklist (4/04)


Theme: SATURDAYS & TEACAKES can be used to introduce your students to grandmothers, grandparents, "grand friends", life in the 1960s, the suburban life, science and math in cooking.

Pre-reading: Show the students the cover of the book, read the title, author and illustrators name. Ask them what they think the book will be about. Next show the illustration of the boy on the bike. Where do you think he's going? Is he happy? Now what do they think the book will be about?

This story takes place in Heflin, Alabama. Have the students look at a US map to locate the state of Alabama.

Reading: As you read and show the illustrations, have the students look closely at the drawings. What details can they find in the pictures? Have them look closely at the expressions of the boy. How do they change during the story? Ask the students how they think the boy is feeling. Can they tell by the illustrations?

Geography: Have the students plan a trip to Alabama. Compare the weather conditions. Hot, cold, rainy, snowy? Estimate the miles, how long will it take from the school to board a train, bus or plane to Alabama. What do they need to bring for their ride -- food, clothes, entertainment items, books etc. What do the think they will see along the way -- will they see rivers, mountains, lakes, deserts, plains, farms, factories, cities etc.

Connecting Generations: Want to get closer to another generation? Kids can interview grandparents or "grand friends" 50 or older about their hopes and goals in life-how they pursued them and overcame obstacles-or how their dreams changed as they got older.

Local Geography: If the students were riding on their bicycle, how long will it take them to get to their grandparents home. Would they be able to bike that far? What will they see along the way? What will they bring with them?

Science: How to tell a hard boiled egg from a raw one? Spin a boiled egg and a raw egg at the same time. Use the tip of your finger to stop both eggs. Notice the boiled egg will stop completely. The raw egg will slowly spin again (because of the liquid content inside).

Math, Kitchen and the Classroom: Have students bring an apron from home. Compare a dozen eggs vs. 1/2 dozen. Use spoons to measure a teaspoon of vanilla. Use a measuring cup for 3/4 cup of flour. Use a stick of butter to calculate fractions. Knead the dough, notice the texture when kneading after 5 minutes. Break the dough in groups of tens. Roll out the dough and shape into triangles, squares, circles. Visit www.peachtree-online.com for Mammaw Thompson's delicious teacakes recipe. Don't forget to teach the students to clean up after themselves.

Literature: Look for other books by Lester L. Laminack such as The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins and Trevor's Wiggly Wobbly Tooth. If you really enjoyed SATURDAYS & TEACAKES write a review and post it on-line at Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com so others can enjoy your reading experience.

 
 

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