Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
As she did in 1992's Fanny at Chez Panisse, also illustrated by Arnold, renowned chef Waters writes in the ingenuous voice of her (now adult) daughter in a combination gastronomic travelogue and cookbook. A nine-year-old student at a French school in California, Fanny peppers her anecdotal narrative with French phrases as she describes meals that she and her parents shared while visiting various friends in France. Their tables are laden with freshly baked bread, wine made from the bounty of nearby vineyards, just-caught fish, and homegrown olives and produce. Fanny eagerly pitches in, helping gather oysters in a Bordeaux bay, bake bread in an outdoor oven in Corsica, and milk sheep in the Pyrenees before making cheese. Many of the foods described reappear in the 41 recipes that make up the second half of the book, which range from accessibly simple (roasted almonds with sage, vinaigrette) to sophisticated and complex (bouillabaisse). Arnold's airy, sun-drenched paintings intensify the warmth of this celebration of family, friends, and food, best for young readers with an established interest in cooking and French culture. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 3 Up-Waters recounts the memories of her nine-year-old daughter, Fanny Waters. Cheerful vignettes evoke Fanny's experiences cooking, eating, and exploring her way around France with her mother and a revolving cast of friends. Fanny helps make a bouillabaisse, tastes fresh sea urchin straight from the sea, and hikes deep into the Pyrenees to observe a shepherd make cheese from sheep's milk. Arnold's gorgeous ink and watercolor illustrations bring the French countryside and many lively meals to life. Despite the clear prose and evocative illustrations, the text conveys a nostalgia and lifestyle typically more attractive to adults than children. Moreover, many of the recipes are long and involve such sophisticated fare as "couscous royale with chermoula." Still, this is an attractive supplement to more traditional nonfiction works about France and French culture and will work well for patrons doing reports or studies in that area. Additionally, young chefs and readers who have mastered Mollie Katzen's cookbooks will be happy to try the more advanced recipes presented here. VERDICT Consider adding to biography and French cookbook collections for sophisticated readers in larger libraries.-Kristy Pasquariello, Wellesley Free Library, MA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.