From the Publisher
"This bright and colorful picture book sheds light on certain childhood allergies. . .Teachers will find this book to be a great introduction to allergies, to embrace acceptance, and show respect." Library Media Connection, March/April 2014
"This upbeat rhyming story of a simple, no-frills party pairs well with the full-page cartoon illustrations of familiar scenes where a multiracial cast of guests partakes in the birthday traditions of games, opening gifts, blowing candles, and eating a cake that everyone can enjoy. . ." School Library Journal, December 2013
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
The title to this picture says it all, and this really is quite the sweet text about a birthday girl who is allergic to gluten and how she and her mother prepare the perfect dessertChocolate-Cookie-Crumble cakefor her party. The message throughout this text is completely positive, and I really appreciated the point the author made in the “tips” section of the book (found at the very end) that notes that parents should really focus on what a child can eat versus what she cannot. The illustrations in this textvery realistic and done in pen and pastelssupport the rhyming storyline very effectively. An added component of this delightful text is the recipe section where readers can follow the directions and make their own chocolate-cookie-crumble cake. The tips section noted earlier provides an explanation of gluten allergies, tips for handling eating in various situations, and a solid list of websites and resources for readers who would like to learn more. This book would be a helpful addition to any school or public library. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Birthday party preparations and activities occur with their usual anticipation and fun, save for the not-so-notable-in-the-end difference of the celebrant being allergic to gluten. This upbeat rhyming story of a simple, no-frills party pairs well with the full-page cartoon illustrations of familiar scenes where a multiracial cast of guests partakes in the birthday traditions of games, opening gifts, blowing candles, and eating a cake that everyone can enjoy (even the boy who initially thought he would be the only one who couldn't). The sweetly delivered message that it is easy to be inclusive to children with food allergies is clear, especially with the provided recipes for Chocolate-Cookie-Crumble Cake and Very Berry Pie with Ice Cream. Tips and websites for people with gluten allergies are included.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
Simple rhymes, pictures and idea combine in this story that's nevertheless a little too heavy on the instructional side. It's a summer birthday, with celebrants in shorts and sandals, baby and dog on the lawn, and the "birthday girl" wearing her crown. She and her mom bake a gluten-free cake together. Her friends, a multiethnic group with button eyes and comma noses, join in the piñata fun and the face-painting, until it is time to go in for cake. One boy sits forlornly outside, and when the protagonist goes to get him, he explains he cannot eat gluten. Surprise! She says she cannot either and that all can be merry. It is hard to believe a child who needs to avoid gluten would not already know that one of her guests does too, as is the notion that the boy would have gone to a birthday party without his parent checking the gluten situation out. In any case, it ends with a promise for ice-cream pie the next year. Included are two gluten-free recipes (although the Chocolate-Cookie-Crumble cake does include half a cup of brewed decaf coffee, which may give some pause). There are also tips for friends and family with gluten sensitivities (the author uses the word "allergy" but does not talk directly about celiac disease, which is not an allergy) and a short list of websites. Somewhat useful if not particularly artful. (Picture book. 4-7)