Parents, teachers and librarians concerned about the lack of diversity in children’s books will welcome I Want Cake! This intergenerational picture book features three real-life siblings as they venture through their real-life multicultural neighborhood looking for cake for breakfast. It will be released November 12, 2015, by Story Quest Books.
The story, for children ages 4-8, begins with 6-year-old Leen telling her older sister, YaYa, she wants cake for breakfast. Though at first YaYa resists the idea, together they quickly rope in their little brother Jaden. They try to get help from their Haitian mother and grandmother, American Jewish father and grandfather, and their Cuban neighbor. Each adult disagrees with the cake request and urges them instead to eat one of their own, culturally-preferred breakfast delicacies. Undeterred, the cake-for-breakfast team perseveres, even as the adults secretly delight in their escapade.
I wrote the book because I was inspired by my son Daniel’s storytelling. He dreamed up five original stories for kids during long drives through lonely Florida sugar cane fields on his way to the hospital where he serves as the only staff surgeon.
It took me almost 3 years to do the illustrations. Two years in, when I first thought the book was done, I took a short break and dove deeper inside Photoshop. I learned wonderful new techniques for improving light, composition and color. Then I knew I had to practically start over! But I’m glad I did. Though I could work more on each illustration, I had to let them be done.
I hope you enjoy the images and the story! I Want Cake! is on Amazon.com during the pre-sale period – now through November 12, 2015 – when you can take advantage of Amazon’s lowest price guarantee. Find it there and at your favorite bookstores after November 12th.
Please share your impressions:
What’s your favorite illustration? Why?
What’s your favorite part of the story?