Saturdays and Teacakes
Publication Date: March 2004
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So begins author Lester Laminack's poetic memory of the adult who made him feel incredibly special--his grandmother. Every Saturday, the narrator, a young boy, rides his bicycle up and down country roads past farms, a grave-yard, and a filling station, until he reaches his beloved Mammaw's house. She is waiting for him. No one else, just him. While she picks tomatoes, he pushes the lawnmower through the dew-we grass. Afterwards, he always helps her make teacakes from scratch, breaking the eggs and stirring the batter. But the best part, he remembers, is eating the hot, sweet cookies fresh from the oven. Children will understand the special love between the boy and his grandmother. Set in a small own in the "Leave It to Beaver days of the mid-sixties, the story evokes a gentler and more innocent time and place. Young readers will almost hear the crunch of bicycle wheels on gravel and the "criiick-craaack-criick of a metal glider in Laminack's richly detailed prose. Award-winning illustrator Chris Soentpiet's images beautifully capture the relationship and the place, perfectly depicting the simplicity of an earlier time.
About the AuthorLester L. Laminack is Professor Emeritus in the department of Birth-Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle Grades Education at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina where he received two awards for excellence in teaching [the Botner Superior Teaching Award and the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award]. Lester is now a full-time writer and consultant working with schools throughout the United States. He is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and served three years as co-editor of the NCTE journal Primary Voices and as editor of the Children's Book Review Department of the NCTE journal Language Arts (2003-2006). He also served as a teaching editor for the magazine Teaching K-8 and wrote the "Parent Connection" column (2000-2002). He is a former member of the Whole Language Umbrella Governing Board, a former member of the Governing Board and Secretary of the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children, and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Center for the Expansion of Language and Thinking. He served as the Basic Reading Consultant to Literacy Volunteers of America from 1987 through 2001. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Our Children's Place. His academic publications include several books including Learning with Zachary (Scholastic), Spelling in Use (NCTE), Volunteers Working with Young Readers (NCTE), and his contributions to The Writing Workshop: Working Through the Hard Parts (NCTE), Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature (Heinemann), Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum (Heinemann), Bullying Hurts (Heinemann), and two books from Scholastic Cracking Open the Author's Craft (2007) and Unwrapping the Read Aloud (2009) from Scholastic. In addition he has several articles published in journals such as The Reading Teacher, Science and Children, Language Arts, Primary Voices, and Young Children. Lester is also the author of six children's books: The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins, Trevor's Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth, Saturdays and Tea Cakes, Jake's 100th Day of School, Snow Day! and, Three Hens and a Peacock (2012 Children's Choice K-2 Book of the Year Award) all from Peachtree Publishers.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Haemi Balgassi immigrated to the United States when she was seven. She edits a quarterly literary magazine, writes fiction and poetry for adults, and is an avid Scrabble player. Ms. Balgassi lives in Westfield, Massachusetts, with her family.