Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Saturdays and Teacakes

by Lester L. Laminack
illustrated by Chris Soentpiet

“When I was nine or ten years old I couldn’t wait for Saturdays.”

In this poetic memory, a young boy rides his bicycle every Saturday up and down country roads past farms, a graveyard, and a filling station, until he reaches his beloved Mammaw’s house. She is waiting for him. While she picks tomatoes, he pushes the lawnmower through the dew-wet 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 cakes fresh from the oven.

Lester Laminack’s richly detailed prose perfectly portrays the special relationship of a young boy and his grandmother. Set in a small town in the mid-sixties, the story evokes a gentler and more innocent time and place. Award-winning illustrator Chris Soentpiet’s images beautifully capture the simplicity of an earlier time.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-303-0
Publication Date: 3/1/2004
Page Count: 32
Size: 10-1/2″ x 10-1/2″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: CD
Price: $6.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-514-0
Publication Date: 10/1/2009
Size: 5″ x 4-7/8″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
Format: Hardcover & CD
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-513-3
Publication Date: 10/1/2009
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
AR Level: 4.3
F&P: GRL P, Gr 3, Genre RF
Lexile: AD840L
Themes: Baking, Grandparents, Memories
BISAC 1: JUV013030 JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Multigenerational


“The impeccably rendered paintings illustrate with astonishing historical accuracy…this nostalgic look back offers up the childhood many of us wish we’d had.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Drawing on his childhood in Heflin, AL, the author splendidly recreates these 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 yesteryear.” ―School Library Journal

“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… the pictures are gorgeous, and the bond between child and grandparent is timeless.” ―Booklist


SEBA Book Award (Nominee, Children’s Category) ―Southeastern Booksellers’ Association, 2005

Best Books of the Year Awards (Nominee) ―Child Magazine, 2004

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2005

Georgia Children’s Picture Storybook Award (Nominee) ―University of Georgia, 2005-2006

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South Carolina Picture Book Award (Nominee) ―South Carolina Association of School Librarians, 2006-2007

Volunteer State Book Awards (master list, K-3) ―Tennessee Association of School Librarians, 2006-2007

Children’s Book Sense Picks ―Book Sense, 2004

Read Alouds too Good to Miss (Primary) ―AIME, 2004

Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition, 2005

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Meet the Author

Lester L. Laminack is a specialist in children’s literacy and professor emeritus at Western Carolina University. Laminack has written numerous books and articles for educators and is a familiar speaker at professional meetings and reading associations nationwide. He lives in North Carolina. You can visit his website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Chris Soentpiet graduated with honors from the Pratt Institute of Art in New York City, where he majored in fine arts and minored in education. He has illustrated numerous books for children, including Saturdays and TeacakesMore Than Anything, which was an IRA Notable Book and an ALA Notable Book; Jin Woo; and Silver Packages. A native of Korea, he lives in New York. You can visit his website here.