It's A Piece of Cake by Laurie Lunsford. Illustrated by Brittani Gothard.
Such a delightful children's book, one that will be read again and again in, in schools and
libraries. Charming illustrations help create an important message: practice and
persistence help us succeed. Laurie explained her choice of topic. “I raised my three
sons to be persistent. It is a key to developing the character to succeed in many
endeavors of life. It was emphasized in my own upbringing. I was expected to aim high
and try new things.
The paper-cut illustrations by Brittani Gothard are exquisite. Laurie praised Brittani,
“Everything was hand cut with an Exacto knife and [it] took hours and hours.” This is the
second collaboration of the two.
The illustrations of the children show a girl in glasses, a boy in a wheel chair, diverse skin
and hair color—a lovely representation of America. Each child tries a different task—
swimming, reading, basketball, getting along or climbing trees.
Laurie commented about the actions of the children that were included. “I selected skills that fit what a four, five, or
six year-old is learning. I included physical, mental, and social skills….This book is about living life to its fullest.”
Like a chorus, after each “impossible” task, we read, “I can practice. I will try….Now it’s a piece of cake!” And on that page is a hidden piece of cake. Another fun part of this read, inserted by the illustrator.
This is such a perfect book to read to your child at bedtime, to pull a grandchild onto your lap during a visit, for teachers to read to a class, volunteers to library groups—I can’t think of a time it wouldn’t work. And for beginning readers, the repeated “chorus” is one that children will look forward to reciting. “Every book is written to stir interaction between those who read it together.”
One of my favorite cakes in the birthday cake I have used over the years. I share that recipe with you—make the cake before you read this book and have a slice with your favorite kids.