Note: Review of and Advance Reader Copy | Book Publishes August 2020
Candy Wellins is a Soaring ’20s High Flying Picture Book Debut member with Saturdays Are For Stella being her debut. It is scheduled to release 8/11/2020. Charlie Eve Ryan’s jovial cover art brightened my Twitter feed one day and I knew it was something I wanted to get my hands on. Thank you to Candy Wellins for sending it on a #BookExcursion.
George and his Grandma Stella have a very special relationship. The two of them spend their Saturdays together and each one is filled with adventure. They host ninja tournaments, visit museums, fight off alien attacks, eat frozen yogurt, and bake cinnamon rolls too. They truly know how to have a good time. As good times go, sometimes they have to come to an end. When George suddenly loses his grandmother, his happy days are turned to sad ones and his grief seems too much to bear. George even goes so far as to cancel Saturdays but as time goes by George learns to cherish the memories they shared and joy begins to wash away the sadness.
Saturdays are for Stella is such a sweet story but it’s a tough one too because it deals with the loss of a loved one. I am grateful for the tender way that Candy Wellins handled a difficult subject. We experience death in our families but don’t know how to give voice to our pain. We might shut down for a time as George did. Grief is expected. It’s normal. I think that’s what I appreciated most about this book, that it was honest about loss. Don’t worry, things do turn around. George does find joy again but it didn’t happen overnight because that’s not how life works but when he finds it and then shares it with his new little sister, Grandma Stella’s memories live on.
Saturdays are for Stella is recommended for pre-k through 3rd grade. It would make a great addition to any collection in your classroom, library, or home. I plan to add it to my K-5 library but I will likely add my crying or tissue box bitmoji callout to the book as a fair warning. Our students love our bitmoji callouts that we made. They are laminated and look like big bookmarks that stick out of the tops of some of the books in the library to identify an LOL book, a sad book, an award winner, or an adventurous read, for example.
Candy Wellins | https://www.candywellins.com/
Charlie Eve Ryan | https://www.charlieeveryan.com/
Page Street Kids | https://www.pagestreetpublishing.com/kids
Book Excursion | PLN Group of Rockstar Reading Educators| #BookExcursion
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It was a pleasure to finally get the chance to read one of Kelly Starling Lyons books. I have followed her on Twitter this past school year and appreciate the work that she does as a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf.
Tea Cakes for Tosh is the first book of Kelly’s that I’ve read and it warmed my heart! It got me good in that sweet spot where memories of times spent with grandparents dwells. That place where laughter, freshly baked coconut cake, big hugs, and stories still linger. Cherish that time for the incredible gift that it is. Much like this book is a gift. Read it and you’ll see what I mean. Read more.