A Gluten-Free Book Trailer

My son, Nate, has allergies. Egg, fish, tree nuts, cat dander. Egg is the toughest, though. Every restaurant we go to, we have to ask our server if there's egg in the bread they use for grilled cheeses. We've tried making all kinds of egg-free pancakes and muffins. He hates them all. But the worst is friends' birthdays. As soon as it's cake time, Nate gets bummed because everyone gets cake except him. Sometimes parents provide a popsicle or vanilla ice cream. Other times we bring along a packet of gummy snacks. But at the most recent party, they served an Oreo cookie ice cream cake. I scanned the label on the box and... no egg! Nate said it was one of the best parties he'd ever been to, and I have to believe that it was in part due to him not having to settle for a second-tier treat that excluded him from the group.

So, when my critique partner, Sue Fliess, was offered an opportunity to write a rhyming story for Albert Whitman & Company about a kid with a gluten allergy, we all encouraged her to go for it. Sure, it's not your typical subject matter--but that's a good thing! And Sue and illustrator Jennifer E. Morris handle the material in a very fun and tasteful (pun intended) way, resulting in a darling picture book that welcomes all readers to the party.

I was thrilled to create this book trailer for A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! Since the book's narrator is a little girl, I knew I needed a real-live girl to read the lines. I almost cast our neighbor, Catherine, who's about 10. But her voice is already lower than what I envisioned. Really, there was only one kid I should have considered, and that was my plucky 6-year old daughter, Sophie. But as we began recording, we found that reading the lines from a printed script in a smooth and playful way was kinda tough. We had to improvise. So, we discovered that it worked great when she would listen to me say a line, then she could repeat it back with no problem. Of course, toward the end, she was getting bored and frustrated with me making her repeat certain lines over and over into the mic. I ended up keeping her sassy version of the line "Available in a bookstore near YOU!" and her improvised "Mmm. Yummy!"

Hungry for a sweet new picture book? A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! hits the spot.