Born hungry Julia Child becomes "the French chef"

Alex Prud'homme

Book - 2022

"In Paris, Julia devoured recipe books, shopped in outdoor markets, consumed all kinds of foods, and whipped through culinary school. And although she wasn't always successful in the kitchen, she was determined to "master the art" of French cooking. Through perseverance and grit, Julia became a chef who shared her passion with the world, making cooking fun, and turning every meal into a special event." --Publisher's website.

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Subjects
Genres
Biographies
Published
New York : Calkins Creek, an imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (chiefly color); 29 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781635923230
1635923239
Main Author
Alex Prud'homme (author)
Other Authors
Sarah Green (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Julia Child's grandnephew and coauthor of her memoir, My Life in France (2006), brings Child's zesty, larger-than-life persona to a story as exuberant as the extraordinary chef. Curious and adventurous by nature, Child didn't start her career in the kitchen; rather, she worked as a typist during WWII for a U.S. spy agency, where she met her future husband, Paul. Dense but engaging text relays Child's life with Paul after the war and how one lavish meal in France changed the trajectory of her life, inspiring her to pursue her culinary education and to share her knowledge with others. Lively, food-laden digital illustrations in vibrant hues capture Child's hunger for knowledge and general joie de vivre. Prud'homme, who peppers the text with direct quotes, honors Child's genuine fondness for flavorful food and her devotion to spreading joy through the craft of cooking. Back matter includes a lengthy author's note, further resources, and, for budding chefs, Child's recipe for "oeufs Brouillés" (scrambled eggs). An enthusiastic biography readers should relish—bon appétit! Grades 2-4. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Julia Child (1912–2004) and her lifelong love of food feature in this whirlwind picture book biography by Prud'homme, the chef's grandnephew. The book opens with Child as a 6'2" adolescent whose activity makes her "crave food—lots of food." In the first of several leaps, the story then skips ahead to her wartime work for a U.S. spy agency (including a project mixing up shark repellent), marriage, and subsequent move to Paris, where she begins her culinary training at age 37. The story concludes abruptly after Child starts a cooking school with friends, leaving an author's note to detail later accomplishments back in the States, including her television career. Sprinkled with quotes from Child, Prud'homme's prose is at its best describing food ("plump strawberries swimming in pools of whipped cream") and Child's determination, while Green's loose art luxuriates in scenes of the figure surrounded by a colorful assortment of comestibles. Back matter includes further resources and a scrambled egg recipe. Ages 5–9. (Feb.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 3—Beloved Julia Child is the subject of this delightful picture book biography, told with lively text and charming illustrations; these latter perfectly capture Child's gangly 6' 2" frame and expressive face (as well as delicious looking food). From a young woman who could only boil water and make toast, to the creator of a wartime recipe for shark repellent, Child only began to appreciate good food during a revelatory meal with her new husband in France, which was, as she described later, "The most exciting meal of my life!" She attended the famous French Cordon Bleu cooking school, the only woman in her class, and later opened her own school with two friends, teaching her students the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients and not rushing through recipes, which she had done in her youth (with disastrous results). Although the text does not cover Child's great success as an author or her many popular TV shows and guest appearances, these are included in an extensive author's note. Prud'homme, who collaborated with her on her memoir My Life in France, is Child's grandnephew. Back matter includes a bibliography of books by and about Child, websites, exhibitions, and a rather complicated recipe for French scrambled eggs. VERDICT So many life lessons here, including one about following passion where it leads, make this an exemplary offering for the biography shelves.—Sue Morgan Copyright 2022 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Junior Library Guild SelectionHow did Julia Child become one of America's most celebrated and beloved chefs? Her grandnephew reveals her story in this picture book that Jacques Pepin calls a "vivid portrait . . . an enjoyable read." Julia's kid-friendly recipe for Oeufs Brouillés (Scrambled Eggs) is included!Julia Child was born hungry, but she was not born a chef. In fact, Julia didn’t discover her passion for cooking until she had a life-changing luncheon in France and became determined to share her newfound love of food with everyone. In Paris, Julia devoured recipe books, shopped in outdoor markets, consumed all kinds of foods, and whipped through culinary school. And although she wasn't always successful in the kitchen, she was determined to "master the art" of French cooking. Through perseverance and grit, Julia became a chef who shared her passion with the world, making cooking fun, and turning every meal into a special event. Alex Prud'homme's firsthand knowledge paired with Sarah Green's vibrant and energetic illustrations showcases Julia's life and celebrates her enduring legacy.