Bon Appétit!: The Delicious Life of Julia Child

Jessie Hartland, Author, Jessie Hartland, Illustrator
Jessie Hartland. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-375-86944-0
Library Binding - 48 pages - 978-0-375-96944-7
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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)
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