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BON APPÉTIT by Jessie Hartland


The Delicious Life of Julia Child

by Jessie Hartland & illustrated by Jessie Hartland

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: May 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-86944-0
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

A homey biography introduces children to Julia Child.

Julia Child’s imposing but unglamorous figure and rumbly voiced television presence charmed cooks and eaters alike, even as her cookbooks changed kitchen dynamics in many American households. Hartland uses a naive cartoon storytelling style—several scenes on a page, accompanied by an energetic handwritten, partly cursive text—to recount her journey to success as a renowned cook. Lively tableaux deliver an affectionate tribute to this strong-minded woman. Scenes from Julia’s tomboy childhood include mention of Julia’s large feet and the three foods her mother would make on cook’s night off: biscuits, codfish balls and Welsh rabbit. The book moves onto her brief career with the OSS, her marriage to Paul Child (and their mutual interest in food) and their move to Paris. From Julia’s education at Le Cordon Bleu and her subsequent success in producing cookbooks, it’s clear that Julia succeeded through her attention to detail and her luck in matching passion for food with her ability to cook it expertly. The 37 steps in Julia’s preparation of a galantine for her sister “Dort the Wort” are amusingly detailed, and though readers are not told whether Dorothy was impressed, the anecdote is telling.

While these stories may be familiar to adult readers, they are here perfectly pitched to introduce the determined woman who became synonymous with French cooking in America. (bibliography)  (Picture book/biography. 7-11)