Bon Appétit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland

Julia Child and her husband spent many years living abroad in France and other places, traveling when necessary to accommodate Paul’s employer.  While they were living in France, Julia took cooking classes and met two other women – Simca and Louisette – who were trying to create a book of French recipes for American cooks.  Together, the friends started their own cooking school and Julia became involved with the cookbook.  Ten years later, they managed to perfect the recipes AND publish their book, which was a comprehensive guide to French cooking.  To help promote it, Julia appeared on a PBS special, and viewers liked her so much that she was offered her own cooking show!  The book AND the show really took off and Julia became quite famous and successful .

This book is not only a biography of Julia Child, it is also a work of art.  Carefully crafted and designed (even the end papers are decorated with objects whose names are translated in English (front) and French (back)), this book is busy with activity and enthusiasm – some spreads even have numbered panels, so you can clearly follow the action.  Julia’s passion for cooking and her determination and tenacity are evident.  After reading this, you may be inspired to try out some of her recipes (one for crepes is included in this book), or catch an episode of her cooking show. 

Reviewed by Karin Thogersen, YA Librarian

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