Friday, August 24, 2012
Minette's Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat
illustrated by Amy Bates
Abrams | 2012
I've been enamored of Julia Child for some time now. First I bought a copy of Julie & Julia way back when it was on the seconds table at the Barnes & Noble because Nora Ephron hadn't discovered it yet. Then I saw the film and realized the book I really should be reading was My Life in France, which I ran out to buy. And it was so lovely. I'm old enough to remember Julia on WGBH in Boston way back when. She's a pretty great woman, it turns out.
Last Wednesday would've been her 100th birthday (which wouldn't have been that odd, really; she was a major go-getter right till the end and lived to be two days short of 92). In honor of her, I went out and got Minette's Feast, a cute little story about the cat Julia and Paul Child adopted when they lived in Paris. She was a fantastic mouser and didn't even realize the fancy-food heaven in which she lived.
The illustrations by Bates are lovely. The Childs are rendered perfectly in a way that shows their own physicality (which was remarkable in their relationship) as well as their love for each other. A cross-sectioned illustration of their home is pleasing and the little girls found on many spreads keeps young readers searching. The color palette is homey and warm, just like Julia's kitchen.
A nice afterword includes some biographical info about Julia and the cat and clarifies that all dialogue used in the text is from actual sources, which is great!
Have some beef bourguignon sometime this month and honor Julia Child and her energetic and innovative spirit. It resonates with me - reinventing oneself later in life is scary, but as Julia proves, it's possible. And fun!