Every Cake Has a Story

Dial. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593110683.
PreS-Gr 2–Reminiscent of the transformation found in the movie Pleasantville, Milk Bar’s dessert chef Tosi’s debut picture book features a young white girl with bangs and yellow pigtails named Sammi who loves to bake but is tired of baking vanilla cakes with chocolate frosting. Everything is always the same. Nothing ever changes in Samesville. Then she places a recipe card under her pillow and wishes for something more. The next morning, Samesville is no longer a grayscale world but one full of rich, colorful elements. Armed with a new magical cookbook and a diverse set of friends, Sammi sets out to create something that is anything but ordinary. While the artwork is vibrant, detailed, and charming, the text is more of a cake that fails to rise. Thin on a cohesive plot arc or even a logical narrative, this story delivers little new to the idea of embracing diversity.
VERDICT Best suited for reading aloud to younger children, or for those who like to bake, this is not recommended as a first purchase.

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