Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Julia Child!

Well the queen of beef bourguignon would be 100 today!  She inspired many cooks, my mother included, to move away from the tuna casserole and embrace the basics of French cooking.

It is only fitting to share with you one of my favorite picture books about Julie Child, although the book is targeted for older kids.  But please don't be dissuaded by the picture book format, it is a wonderful account of her life filled with inspiration, chaos and a love of good food.  However, if you have some of my picky eaters, the term good food might be stretching it for them!

I hope you can share it with your kids and maybe whip up a little something from Mastering the Art of French Cooking in your spare time (yes, I jest, perhaps a good glass of red wine is tribute enough, grape juice for the little one!)

Title:      Bon Appetit!: The Delicious Life of Julia Child

Author:  Jessie Hartland

Target:   Grades 4-7

What this book is about:
This is a biography of Julia Child done in a picture book format!  It starts with her birth in Pasadena to how she met Paul Child.  Then it follows her on her adventures in France, the exhaustive process of writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking and finally to her renowned television show!

Why I love this book:
Well first and foremost the illustrations are a delight.  Each page is filled with pictures and panels with the narrative squeezed in between.  I felt the frenzy of her life and personality just based on how the book was laid out.  Secondly, the book is filled with wonderful humor, from showing the spinach in her teeth at the end of a television taping to whipping up a little something - a galatine which takes over two pages and 32 panels to explain, not to mention the ingredients - pickled tongue anyone!

I also love introducing kids to Julia Child because she followed her passions and not what was expected of her.  She also found her calling later in life, which I think is a wonderful message as well (can you say book blog - with a french accent of course.)

Who this book is for:
I did read this to my second grade daughter, and she enjoyed it, but I had to read it with Julia’s accent and fill my daughter in on some of the humor and personality.  So this is not a picture book for younger children.  This book is for kids interested in cooking and who want to know more about Julia Child, presented in an energetic and innovative format.

Final thoughts:
I might want to buy another copy simply to take it apart and frame the wonderfully eccentric illustrations!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

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