Just Because

Amusing and often touching, this story encompasses the issue of disability in a charming celebration of sibling friendship to which all children can relate

My big sister Clemmie is my best friend. She can’t walk, talk, move around much, cook macaroni, pilot a plane, juggle or do algebra. I don’t know why she doesn’t do these things. Just because.

A younger brother describes all the fun he has with the big sister he loves so much—just because, in this heartwarming picture book about being perfectly loved, no matter what. He is enthusiastic about just how loving and special she is, and delights in telling us about all the fun things they do together. Only as his tale unfolds does the reader begin to realize that his sister has special needs—and by then the reader just accepts, as he does, all the wonderful things about her. Teachers and librarians will appreciate this book for its sincere and convincing treatment of children with special needs, while parents will use this book to encourage sibling friendship and to read with children who are beginning to ask why a particular child they know is “different.”

Sometimes

Toby and Clemmie return in this touching and amusing sequel to Just Because, proving that even a scary hospital can be a place for fun if you have the right attitude and the support of someone you love

Toby loves his big sister Clemmie. She always looks after him and he looks after her—no matter what. Toby knows his sister is very brave, but when she has to go to the hospital again, they both have to help each other face their fears. Together, they still find ways to have fun and make the hospital a much better place. Their uplifting story will be loved by parents and children alike who find themselves in a similar situation, and will help encourage children to ease their fears and feel better about spending time in intimidating hospitals. Toby and Clemmie first appeared in Just Because, in which Toby paints us a picture of his super big sister and all the things they do together—just because.

The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free

Thirty million Americans are gluten-intolerant or have a gluten sensitivity, eliminating it from their diets because gluten—a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley—has been implicated in health issues ranging from respiratory problems and abdominal discomfort to anemia, anxiety, and infertility. The food industry has bullishly taken notice. Gluten-free baking products, including cake mixes from Betty Crocker, King Arthur, Whole Foods, and others, have increased sevenfold on grocery shelves in recent years, and the number of other gluten-free products has grown as well—832 were introduced in 2008 alone. And gluten-free options are on the menu of national restaurants like Boston Market, Chili’s, Ruby Tuesday, Outback Steakhouse, and others.

Now comes even sweeter news for people looking to cut gluten from their diets: Anne Byrn shows how to transform gluten-free cake mixes into 76 rich, decadent, easy-to-make, impossible-to-resist desserts. Performing the magic that’s made her a bestselling baking author with over 33 million copies of her books in print, she doctors mixes with additions like almond extract, fresh berries, cocoa powder, grated coconut, cinnamon, lime zest, and more—naturally, all gluten-free ingredients—and voilà: Tres Leches Cake with Whipped Cream and Summer Berries, Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Chocolate Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache, Caramel Melted Ice Cream Cake, Warm Tarte Tatin Apple Cake, and more