'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 2 February 2015

Review: Julia, Child

There has been a rash of biographical or semi-biographical picture books these past few years, and I, for one, adore them.

There is something to be said for the glory of real life adventure--and teaching our children about the amazing people who have gone before us, is something I'm personally passionate about. What do they say about showing my example? And picture books, when done well, can 'teach' in the most subtle and creative of ways, especially when it comes to biography.

Julia, Child, is not actually a biography. It has biographical elements, yes--but perhaps we should call it 'historical piction' (history + pictures + fiction)--for it takes elements of truth and winds them into a gorgeous story that truly tickles the tastebuds.

It only took one meal of sole meunière for little Julia to fall in love with French food. She not only loved to eat it, but she loved to cook it. On the weekend, along with her friend Simca, she would shop at the local market for produce, and to seek culinary inspiration, and off they would go--home to cook.

Only, things didn't always go well.

With regular booking and baking classes, the girls improved, and very soon, legions of adults clamored to be part of their feasting table--adults whose worries and cares and weight-of-the-world would be temporarily lifted, as the girls' good transported them to other places ... to times past; to their own childhoods.

This is a cleverly-devised and structured book with an utterly delightful ending, and meaningful, delicious prose. Morstad's gorgeous illustrations combine line drawing with colourful characters and scrumptious delights in a way that is both modern and whimsical.

Moreish yet totally satisfying.

Title: Julia, Child
Author: Kyo Maclear
Illustrator: Julie Morstad
Publisher: Tundra, $32.99 RRP
Publication Date: 13 August 2014
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9781770494497
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book