Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Minette's Feast

Minette's Feast

Susanna Reich
Illustrator:  Amy June Bates 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2012   ISBN: 978-1419701771

In 1948 Julia Child moved to Paris with her husband, and the couple had a splendid time exploring the city and having scrumptious meals in some of its restaurants. Their apartment was dark, cold in winter, and the kitchen did not even have a proper fridge, but Julia happily cooked meals that she and her husband Paul shared. Knowing that a “house without a cat is like life without sunshine,” Julia and Paul adopted a cat and they named her Minette. Minette, being a discriminating French cat, was not interested in tinned cat food. No, she preferred to dine on mice and birds.

Then Julia started to take cooking lessons, and soon her kitchen was full of fabulous smells and delicious treats. At least the people Julia cooked for thought they were delicious. Minette would perhaps condescend to “take a nibble,” but she really did prefer “mouse and bird.”

The Julia decided to make something new and special. Perhaps this recipe would tempt Minette. Perhaps finally Julia would make something that was “better than mouse.”

This splendid book tells the story of how Julia Child, cook extraordinaire, had to be creative to get her cat Minette to eat something besides fresh mouse and bird. As the story unfolds we see how Julia worked hard to become a master in the kitchen, a skill that would one day catapult her into the spotlight of the culinary world and make her household name.

The author’s delightful words capture the extraordinary nature of Julia Child’s Paris adventures, and they are perfectly paired with Amy Bates’ gorgeous illustrations.

At the back of the book, the author provides her readers with further information about Julia Child and Minette, and she explains how and why she came to write this book.