A Birthday Cake for Washington has been the subject of much criticism because it portrays slaves as being happy. The shelves and desks at in Washington, D. C. , are full of picture books. For years, the nonprofit, which advocates for a more inclusive curriculum in public schools, has been keeping track of what it considers to be some of the best — and worst — multicultural children's books out there. Allyson Criner Brown, Teaching for Change's associate director, says they keep the bad ones because there's so much to learn from them. A Birthday Cake for George Washington was just put on the bad shelf. Even though it was created by a multicultural team, the book came under heavy criticism for whitewashing the history of slavery.
Just a few months ago, another children's book, A Fine Dessert, drew similar criticism.