Bon appetit! The delicious life of Julia Child

Jessie Hartland

Book - 2012

A picture book biography of Julia Child, the famous chef

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jBIOGRAPHY/Child, Julia
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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jBIOGRAPHY/Child, Julia Checked In
New York : Schwartz & Wade Books c2012.
1st ed
Physical Description
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 28 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Main Author
Jessie Hartland (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Hartland delivered a swanky mix of science and history with How the Sphinx Got to the Museum (2010). Here she brings her zippy, maximalist sensibility to the life and work of the great chef and author. It's about as busy as a book can get: packed like sardines on every page, handwritten words in a mix of cursive and print and peppered with French phrases fill up every space not occupied by equally crammed-in bits of artwork. Readers are introduced to the awkward but precocious Child as a girl, learn about her life in France as she grew to love cooking, and embark on her journey to publish the celebrated, groundbreaking Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Along the way, Hartland takes a few friendly swipes at children ("Julia loves to eat! She is certainly NOT one of those tedious picky eaters. You know the type") and dares them to consider whether a galantine with "pimiento, blanched pistachios, pickled udder, blanched leeks, truffles, and pickled tongue" might even be edible, much less something to be celebrated. Though some of the spreads teeter on outright overstuffed chaos (numbers help point where to look next), the whole achieves a feel that is a perfect match for Child's personality and cooking style: exuberant, messy, gangly, and charming. It might take the right reader to make sense of it all, but those who do will find a cheeky and unusual look at an extraordinary figure. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Chef and TV personality Julia Child likely would have delighted in and hooted over this wide-ranging picture-book biography. Hartland's (How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum) trademark naïve-styled cartoons fill each panel and page with activity, their liveliness nodding to Child's own energy. A color palette limited to sage and sea greens, gray-blues, reds, and browns keeps the myriad vignettes from overwhelming. Humorous touches—such as her singed eyebrows while making crêpes suzette—set an effervescent tone. One doesn't expect biographies of this length to be exhaustive, but Hartland's is remarkably so, covering Child's early years in Pasadena, her stint with a spy agency in WWII, her world travels, and cooking adventures. The narrative is done in handwritten typeface, an informal combination of cursive and printing that winds around the illustrations and down the pages and includes numerous French phrases with translations. One spread even outlines step-by-step directions (in 37 numbered panels) for making chicken galantine. Readers young and old will devour this fête pour les yeux, which concludes with a short epilogue, bibliography, and, of course, a crêpe recipe. All ages. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (May) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 2–5—Books for young foodies are very popular, and this is one that any library embracing the trend should have. Hartland's cartoon scrapbook style—more closely resembling Marissa Moss's Amelia's Notebook (S & S, 2006) than either graphic novels or standard picture-book biographies—works beautifully in exploring the life and career of Julia Child, with handwritten captions and stories complementing cartoon images of the chef and her world. Child is especially famous for bringing French cooking to America with Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and the style of this book is so engaging that kids might actually find themselves interested in reading about the complexities of publishing a French cookbook in America. The author also mentions her subject's early life, her work with the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, her international life, and, finally, how she became so passionate about cooking. Hartland's style makes for a quick but informative read that portrays Child as a fascinating, groundbreaking, but still grounded person. Children interested in food and cooking will get a lot out of the book.—Heather Talty, formerly at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City [Page 87]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A picture book biography of Julia Child, the famous chef

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A comprehensive and whimsical picture book biography, told in comic-style panels and jam-packed with lively, humorous and child-friendly details, follows the life of Julia Child--chef, author and television personality.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Chronicles the life of the famous cook, including her time in the OSS and her book and television work.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly raves, "Chef and TV personality Julia Child likely would have delighted in and hooted over this wide-ranging picture-book biography.... Readers young and old will devour this fete pour les yeux."Follow Julia Child'chef, author, and television personality'from her childhood in Pasadena, California, to her life as a spy in WWII, to the cooking classes she took in Paris, to the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, to the funny moments of being a chef on TV. This is a comprehensive and enchanting picture book biography, told in many panels and jam-packed with lively, humorous, and child-friendly details. Young chefs and Julia Child fans will exclaim, "ooooh la la," about this book, which is as energetic and eccentric as the chef herself.