While his mother works in her home office, Timothy goes to the kitchen and mixes up some dough (flour, salt, water) to make her a present ""that no one else could give her."" One by one, the rest of the family stop by, add something to his construction, and comment on its size. Linda says it's like a teapot and makes a spout; Doug suggests handles; Dad (with baby under one arm) thinks it might be a tray wanting feet. Between incorporating their suggestions, Timothy happily rolls, punches, shapes, and enlarges till he decides his Birthday Thing is ready for baking and painting. And Mom finds the perfect use for it: sitting on her desk, it holds all kinds of useful items. In his cartoonlike illustrations, Abolafia perfectly conveys this happy family's affection and good humor. A nifty contemporary version of a familiar scenario by a new pair of authors.