Robert and the World’s Best Cake

NorthSouth. Feb. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735844315.
PreS-K–During a day off, red-haired, pink-cheeked Robert decides to bake a dessert for a “big cake party.” However, after a strong wind blows away most of his invitations, Robert changes plans—a smaller party of three for himself, Mopsi the dog, and his father, who is also white. But the invitations have been found, and the line of guests is snaking out the door. Behl offers a humorous tale about the importance of being flexible when things don’t go according to plan. The narrative is organized into small-size lines of text in black font and larger paragraphs set in panels and full spreads. The lively illustrations enhance a message of diversity and inclusion; secondary characters such as the father, who appears to be a single dad with tattooed arms and likes to knit, joins adult and children of varied races and religions. The book has a fantasy feel to it; the party guests include a giant octopus and a rabbi, and the dad mixes cake with his hand, delivering giant bowls of white “batter” that Robert shapes into large, snowlike piles.
VERDICT A humorous and vibrant book for collections seeking lighthearted looks at inclusion.

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