Of all the products I am asked to review, books are my favorite. Of course, if someone sends me a great new baking product or tool tomorrow, that could quickly become my favorite too. Nevertheless, I was excited to receive a complimentary copy of A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! from Albert Whitman and Company (the publisher). The book is written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris.
The book is well-written, flows nicely, and very easy to read to a small child (or even with children learning to read). As an allergen-free baker and cookbook author, I completely appreciate that the book is encouraging young children to learn about their allergies, take control back, and to bake! "Wasn't all that hard to do!" exclaims the birthday girl. The book even includes two recipes (one for cake and one for pie) that are not only gluten-free, but also dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and nut-free!
Now, you know that I will be straight with you if there's something I don't like about a product I share here. In that vein, I have to admit that the first time I read the book I was a bit concerned about the sub-plot where a small boy feels left out because he can't have cake "Can't have gluten, can't eat cake, gives me such a tummy ache." The boy is told the cake is gluten-free, everyone is happy and eats cake.
My concern was that his mother was not to be found. Surely that little boy's mom would have had a conversation with the birthday girl's mom prior to the party. And surely she would have checked the cake's safety before her son was allowed to eat it. But upon reflection, and given that the book is written from the birthday girl's point of view, I have decided that adding the parent's point of view would have ruined the story line and that I will assume those things did indeed happen in the background.
The book is adorable, inclusive, and fun!