Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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 crépes 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 crépe recipe. All ages. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Books for young foodies are very popular, and this is one that any library embracing the trend should have...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." School Library Journal
"You can be sure Julia's many friends and fans who remember her vividly will embrace this affectionately sassy book, especially as the 100th anniversary of Julia's birth (Aug. 15) calls to mind all she did to draw generations into the kitchen. Yet, this book has a colorful zest that should appeal to the younger generation who've arrived since Julia's death in 2004 at age 91." Chicago Tribune
"[B]ursting with exuberant urban-naïf gouache paintings and a hand-lettered text that somehow manages to recount every second of Child's life." New York Times
About the Author
Jessie Hartland is the author of eight picture books for children, including her most recent, How the Sphinx Got to the Museum, which Booklist, in a starred review, called "exhaustive, dizzying, yet crystal clear [in] detail." Jessie Hartland is also a commercial artist whose work can be seen on ceramics and fabric, as well as in advertisements. An avid cook, Jessie traveled to Paris and the French countryside to research this book. Jessie divides her time between a house near the water on Long Island and a loft in lower Manhattan, New York. Learn more at jessiehartland.com.