Born Hungry: Julia Child Becomes “the French Chef”

Calkins Creek. Feb. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781635923230.
K-Gr 3–Beloved Julia Child is the subject of this delightful picture book biography, told with lively text and charming illustrations; these latter perfectly capture Child’s gangly 6’ 2” frame and expressive face (as well as delicious looking food). From a young woman who could only boil water and make toast, to the creator of a wartime recipe for shark repellent, Child only began to appreciate good food during a revelatory meal with her new husband in France, which was, as she described later, “The most exciting meal of my life!” She attended the famous French Cordon Bleu cooking school, the only woman in her class, and later opened her own school with two friends, teaching her students the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients and not rushing through recipes, which she had done in her youth (with disastrous results). Although the text does not cover Child’s great success as an author or her many popular TV shows and guest appearances, these are included in an extensive author’s note. Prud’homme, who collaborated with her on her memoir My Life in France, is Child’s grandnephew. Back matter includes a bibliography of books by and about Child, websites, exhibitions, and a rather complicated recipe for French scrambled eggs.
VERDICT So many life lessons here, including one about following passion where it leads, make this an exemplary offering for the biography shelves.

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