Just the Right Cake by Christina Tosi starts off like any other cake book. It is raining so it is the perfect day to bake a cake. But if you ask Phil, he will tell you it would be a good day to bake a cake even if it was sunny. You see, Phil loves baking with his mom and dad. But today is different. It is just him and his mom. But even though the cake is made like they always did, something is missing. And later, when he is at his dad’s new apartment, the cake they make is the same as always recipe, but still something is missing. It is not until he is making a snack with his best friend Sammi that he starts to think about why that is after Sammi tells him that each cake has a story, and maybe he now has a new story to tell. After some tasty research, Phil finds the most perfect answer to his dilemma.
This story about divorce might be one of my favorite one. Usually they come out and say, “the D word” or they tell you that mom and dad spilt up. They show the fighting, the problems, etc. But this time we know something is different (and why) with the simple phrase, “Dad’s new apartment.” I like the natural way this comes about. And the natural way Phil can figure out how to solve the problem of the not right cakes. Spoiler, Phil makes a new cake, and that recipe is in the back of the picture book. However, it has peanut butter and chocolate so allergies warning.
Emily Balsley’s illustrations are not for everyone, but they are sweet, fun, and simple, but detailed and support the story. Things are colorful and while realistic, they have a light cartoon touch to help with the seriousness of the story. One of the fun parts of the artwork is that they too are subtle with some pieces of information. We see a diverse neighborhood outside of Phil’s house.
This book is not necessarily for everyone, due to the subject, but I think it is a cozy story for those who might need it. And even though I do not need it, I still felt it was a nice, cozy book.