Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child

Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child

Jessie Hartland
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Random House, 2012   ISBN: 978-0375869440

Julia was a talk young woman from California who wanted to have a career but who did not seem to have any special skills. For a while she went from job to job, but when World War II broke out she got a job in OSS (the Office of Strategic Services), a spy agency in the U.S. government. While she was working at OSS, she met a very cultured and clever man called Paul Child, and after the war was over they got married.

After living in Washington D.C for a while, Paul was transferred to Paris and the couple moved to the great city, taking their car and with all their belongings in fourteen suitcases. After arriving in Le Havre, Paul and Julia got into their car and drove from the coast to Paris. On the way they stopped to have lunch at a restaurant in Rouen. The meal was so delicious that it had a big impact on Julia.

Once they were settled in their new home, Julia tried to find a career that would suit her. She tried hatmaking, but this was not a success. Then someone suggested that Julia (who loved to eat good food) should take cooking classes. This Julia did, and it was not long before she was in the professional class making all kinds of delicious French dishes. Then, quite by chance, Julia met Simca, woman who “loves to cook, read about food, and talk about food.” Julia, Simca, and Simca’s friend Louisette started a cooking school. Simca and Louisette have been working on a cookbook and they asked Julia to help them. No one imagined then that the cookbook they would create would have a huge impact on the culinary world.

In this memorable picture book biography, Jessie Hartland tells the story of Julia Child, an unconventional woman who dared to pursue a dream. Using hand lettered text and wonderful paintings, the author presents her readers with a story that perfectly captures the unpredictability of Julia Child’s life, and the devil may care attitude that she had. We see how Julia took on challenges with vigor and good humor.