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Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child
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Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  638 ratings  ·  185 reviews
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly raves, "Chef and TV personality Julia Child likely would have delighted in and hooted over this wide-ranging picture-book biography.... Readers young and old will devour this fete pour les yeux."

Follow Julia Child—chef, author, and television personality—from her childhood in Pasadena, California, to her life as a spy in WWII, to the
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Schwartz & Wade
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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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, ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
On one side I liked this book, as it is jam packed with interesting stories about a fascinating character. I loved reading about Julia Child's travels and long journey to publish her cookbook. This is really mostly about her professional life, not her personal life, but is really quite an interesting story.

That said, it was hard to read. The book was somewhere in between a graphic novel and a picture book, and the text was hard to follow around the page. In one spread there were actual numbers
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Readers Who Enjoy Biography or Are Interested in Julia Child
In this comic-book style biography, Jessie Hartland sets out the story of chef, cookbook author and TV personality Julia Child, whose role in introducing French cuisine to an American audience is still celebrated. Opening with Julia's childhood in sunny California, where she towered over her peers, the book follows her through her college years at Smith, her work in the OSS (The Office of Strategic Services) during WWII, her marriage to fellow OSS staffer Paul Child, and their post-war life in ...more
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
The book's subject is fascinating- I love Julia Child. I like the fact that a children's biography was published for a famous chef (usually they're all politicians, singers and athletes) and I like biographies about strong women. That being said, the writing in this book was so jumbled. Each page has multiple illustrations, scattered around the page with text that looks handwritten. The book is so BUSY, it's horribly distracting. I have great reading comprehension skills and read really quickly, ...more
Tena Edlin
Nice overview of the life of Julia Child. I like how it's written in graphic novel form, even though the print is a little hard to read. Julia Child was a pioneer in her field, but she also was a character! I loved reading about her pranks in school and her "oops" moments on the set of her TV show.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
This is probably more of a 3.5 for me than a 4. With a slightly less cluttered and confusing format this book could have easily been a 5. The text was interesting but following it all over the place on the pages made it confusing and I wanted to just skim the text as a result. The illustrations are fun and quirky and it is a great introduction to Julia Child but not as a read aloud.

Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Why do I suddenly have an urge to watch Julia & Julia? :)
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this biography of Julia Child for children. Jessie Hartland's fully-painted pages bring across Ms. Child's life and personality with great charm. The text is all handwritten, which gives the book the feel almost of a diary or scrapbook album. It also slows down the reading, so that rather than gobbling down the words like fast food, one reads at a measured pace like one of Ms. Child's beloved French dinners, and has time to really savor the illustrations and story.

The book gives
I found this pretty hard to read, physically. But since it is meant for readers' eyes around 40 years younger than me, I guess that isn't a big complaint really. Probably kids would enjoy the spritely presentation. I did. I hadn't realized how well, blase, Julia was about things. If she dropped some food she picked it up from the floor and used it anyway?!! Presumably she worked for the OSS, (pre CIA) during WWII apparently trying to find ways to repel sharks long enough to get a package where ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a new concept in picture book biographies and it works! For children as a read aloud, for youth and young adults doing research on contemporary popular culture and notable 20th century icons, and adults wanting to learn more about this remarkable woman (who I had the pleasure of meeting) with out delving into an esoteric biography. The text is set in a style that is reminiscent of a hand written journal and is told in straightforward third person narrative that introduces the reader to ...more
Andrea Lorenz
I went into the children's department to pick up an audiobook and a copy of Betsy and Tacy when I happened to spot this on the new nonfiction shelf. Of course, since my bookclub just read My Life in France (at my request) I had to pick it up and read it. The book is short, but covers all of the important events in My Life in France. The pictures are riotous (and, at times, a little overwhelming), but I think they capture the joie vivre that Julia had. If I were the publisher of this book, I ...more
I did learn basic facts about Julia Child's life-especially that she lived in Norway and Germany as well as France. Also the long process of getting her first cookbook published.
However, the format is difficult to figure where one should be reading on the page. the colors do not help; there are no definite panels as in a graphic novel, all of this made for a disjointed reading experience. While I am familiar with basic French and German, I think most children will be annoyed as well as confused
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Arrrrgh, present tense! There's no need for it here, and it kept taking me out of the book. The story is done well, with all sorts of kid-friendly facts. The illustrations are stellar, a little rough, a little giddy, and just perfect for Julia Child. Very enjoyable, indeed. This would be a fun read-aloud with a slightly older child, one who can be trusted with a sharp knife. From this book straight into the kitchen.
May 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
A somewhat brave and also worthy idea to introduce children to Julia Child. But both from a design point of view and any kind of narrative arc to this nonfiction topic, it doesn't seem to this adult reader to work as a book for children, no matter what age. The readership will pass final judgment. I say bravo for the idea but uh for the execution.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

As a child, I loved to watch Julia Child on television with my grandma. This children's book is an interesting short biography that is sweet, funny, and inspirational just like Julia Child herself. The artwork is fabulous. My only complaint: I sometimes had difficulty reading the font / writing.
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by a friend after we had both finished the graphic novel Relish. I read this to my son and we both loved it. Every child should know Julia Child. Reading the book gave us opportunities to talk about food, butter, and what else is on PBS besides Children's cartoons.
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, children
I love anything to do with Julia Child. This is a fun picture book about her. The drawings are great and story is amazing. Julia Child was a remarkable woman. This is a book for all ages. Her 'can do' spirit is an inspiration for us all.
Kris Patrick
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
I would have preferred a longer book with not so much going on within every page
Mallory Lyon
This book is a short book. I is really good though. It is a different kind of biography.
Delightful illustrated biography of Julia Child! LOVED.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
Wonderful book about Julia Child.
Edward Sullivan
This lively, fun introduction to Julia Child would be more enjoyable with a better design. The pages are too cluttered!
Geri chesner
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and had to take my time reading it. Some reviewers commented on the format - that is was hard to follow. I agree, at first glance. After I took some time to really study her layouts and formatting techniques, it was a really fun read due to the layouts. Once readers learn how to read her "map" and use visual literacy skills (and many kids will have no problem with this at all after being encouraged to interpret the format), the story comes through clearly. Julia's life was ...more
Sally Anderson
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it
The illustrations and story are quirky and oh so
Julia. What’s not to love about Julia Child? But the formatting is discombobulating to the point of aggravation halfway through. Your eyes never know where to go, there are asterisks with translations all over the place, and sometimes the type is difficult to read with the background colors chosen. It’s as if they couldn’t decide what kind of book it ought to be — children’s, comic book, etc. Such a shame, really, because the content itself is
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: food
This is more of a graphic novel than a picture book in terms of text and style.

This tells the story of Julia Child from childhood on, but with an emphasis on the period after her marriage, when she started really learning to cook. It talks about how long it took to get to a version of her first cookbook that was really appropriate for an American audience.

Some pages numbered the text to show the right sequence. Others did not, and even pages that looked like they should follow the same
When the very first sentence in the picture book includes, "effervescence", you know you're in for a treat. The illustrations highlight the FUN readers will have with this book. I learned so much about Julia Child, including how her world travels following her husband really did strengthen her love of cooking. She is a national treasure, and if I don't use her cookbook as much as I should, it's just because I'm a lazy cook.

Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I love Julia Child, she was quite the character. And this book has a lot of her quirky personality in it. I also learned a lot more about her. However, it was also very hard to read. All the text is handwritten, sometimes in cursive, sometimes in print, always varying in size. Sometimes the sentences went left to right, other times they went top to bottom. The pages were just too busy for my eyes to handle.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
The only reason this gets two stars is out of respect for Julia Child and her fabulously interesting life. Otherwise, this picture book bio is a total dud. It is almost impossible to read because of the messy handwriting font used and the overcrowded, busy, and unorganized layout. If the same words were used in a different layout with a different artist, this could be a 5 star book. As it is, I found it downright torturous.
Jo Oehrlein
To me, feels more graphic novel than picture book.

The order of the text on the pages is non-intuitive sometimes.

Seems strangely focused on Julia's size 12 feet?

Other than that, a fun biography of Julia Childs and all the work that went into the cookbooks and TV show.
Sarah N
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely non-fiction book packed to the edges with information and illustrations. It does seem a little cluttered at first, but after a page or two, you get the flow of things.
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