Just the Right Cake

Rocky Pond. Feb. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593110713.
PreS-Gr 2–Phil truly loves to bake cakes but after his parents’ divorce, his favorite delectable double chocolate cake doesn’t taste as great. He cannot figure out why and shares this conundrum with his best friend, Sammi, while they are making a batch of Phil’s beloved peanut butter cookies. Sammi explains that she believes every cake has a story and perhaps Phil’s story has changed. This gets Phil thinking, and as he rides his bike home, he decides to try something new. The next time he and his mom bake together, Phil asks her what dessert she loves best, and they make some fantastic gooey brownies. When he next visits his dad, they end up building a campfire in the backyard and roasting s’mores and his dad declares that s’mores are now his favorite. Armed with this new information, Phil creates an entirely new cake that melds both parents’ favorites and his own love of peanut butter. Tosi and Balsley’s second book (after Every Cake Has a Story) is vibrantly illustrated in gouache and ink and then enhanced digitally; the pictures rendered are just as enticing as all the treats described. Readers are left with the simple but important lesson that while change can be hard, it can lead to new and exciting things.
VERDICT A solid purchase for collections wanting to augment their collections with books on divorce, change, family, and finding your story.

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