Robert and the World’s Best Cake by Anne-Kathrin Behl. Translated by David Henry Wilson. NorthSouth, 2021. 9780735844315
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? Robert is at home with his dad, and convinces him that they should have a cake party. Invitations are made and his dad makes a big bowl of fluffy (pretend) batter which Robert fashions into a huge cake, taller than him. He decorates it with toys and uses pencils for candles. The doorbell starts to ring, and many people come to the party – friends he knows, a policewoman, various animals and monsters, and lots and lots of people. So, they make more cake, and everyone helps.
The simple story is enlivened by the bright colors and humorous details in the art. Robert’s dad is a big burly guy who knits, and dresses up for the party, swapping his “AB/CD” (a play on “AC/DC”!) tee shirt for a pink bowtie. Guests have skin colors of white, brown, black and there is a gigantic pink octopus and a big blue monster. Someone has vitiligo, another is Hassidic, and there’s a friendly looking guy with a mohawk. Add in a cowboy on a horse, a chicken, and various other animals and people and you have a party which includes just about everyone, in all their wonderful diversity. It’s a fun story about inclusion.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The story ends abruptly, but kids probably won’t mind, as they will be enjoying the details in the party guests and cake-making.
To whom would you recommend this book? For ages 3-6, for story time about inclusion and/or cake.
Who should buy this book? Day cares, elementary school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: March 22, 2021