Born Hungry: Julia Child Becomes the French Chef

by Alex Prud'homme (Author) Sarah Green (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

How did Julia Child become one of America's most celebrated and beloved chefs? Her grandnephew reveals her story in this picture book that Jacques Pepin calls a "vivid portrait . . . an enjoyable read." Julia's kid-friendly recipe for Oeufs Brouillés (Scrambled Eggs) is included!

Julia Child was born hungry, but she was not born a chef. In fact, Julia didn't discover her passion for cooking until she had a life-changing luncheon in France and became determined to share her newfound love of food with everyone.

In Paris, Julia devoured recipe books, shopped in outdoor markets, consumed all kinds of foods, and whipped through culinary school. And although she wasn't always successful in the kitchen, she was determined to master the art of French cooking. Through perseverance and grit, Julia became a chef who shared her passion with the world, making cooking fun, and turning every meal into a special event.

Alex Prud'homme's firsthand knowledge paired with Sarah Green's vibrant and energetic illustrations showcases Julia's life and celebrates her enduring legacy.


School Library Journal

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.—Sue Morgan

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Fun to read... the illustrations are colorful and often comical... Julia's message, to any kid who wants to hear it, is clear: 'Good results require that one take time and care' — for that plate of food in front of you and beyond."—The New York Times Book Review

★ Prud'homme, a grandnephew through the paternal branch of the Childs, presents a charming, intimate biography of Julia's discovery and realization of her culinary chops, interspersing plenty of quotations that illuminate her wit, common sense, and pedagogical skill that earned the all-American cook the moniker French Chef. Although this offering ends at the beginning of Child's professional career, excellent end notes with thumbnail photographs carry the story forward and supply useful references to her cookbooks and rich media history. Green's digital artwork affectionately celebrates Child towering over the dominantly male milieu of chefs in all her big-boned, strong-jawed, twinkling-eyed glory. This is a must for foodies-in-training, and for anyone who enjoys watching the ascent of unlikely media celebs.—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

Julia Child is the subject of this delightful picture book biography, told with lively text and charming illustrations...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...recipe for French scrambled eggs....So many life lessons here, including one about following passion where it leads, make this an exemplary offering for the biography shelves.School Library Journal

Julia 'The French Chef' Child's fascinating life, lovingly remembered by her grandnephew...The book's unabashed celebration of Child's love of food and of her pure hunger for knowledge about cooking is joyous...Ample backmatter takes a slightly more in-depth dive into Julia's life and includes lists of pertinent books, TV shows, podcasts, websites, and exhibits...The colorful digital illustrations work in perfect tandem with the text, lavishly depicting the foods that seduced Child toward a life of cooking. By the story's end, there is no mystery left as to what made her beloved by so many around the world. Readers will salivate over this scrumptious and inspiring picture-book biography. —Kirkus Reviews

Julia Child's grandnephew and coauthor of her memoir, My Life in France (2006), brings Child's zesty, larger-than-life persona to a story as exuberant as the extraordinary chef... engaging text... (and) lively, food-laden digital illustrations in vibrant hues capture Child's hunger for knowledge and general joie de vivre. An enthusiastic biography readers should relish—bon appétit! —Booklist

Born Hungry is a vivid portrait of Julia in all her glory. Unpretentious, fun, direct, and honest, it describes her love of cooking and teaching throughout her career, from Le Cordon Bleu, to cookbook author, to television food icon. An enjoyable read. —Jacques Pepin, author, artist, celebrity chef, and a longtime friend and collaborator of Julia Child's

Alex Prud'homme
Alex Prud'homme is Julia Child's great-nephew and the coauthor of her autobiography, MY LIFE IN FRANCE. He is also the author of THE RIPPLE EFFECT: THE FATE OF FRESHWATER IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY; HYDROFRACKING: WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW; and THE CELL GAME. Alex Prud'homme's articles have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, and People.

Sarah Green is a RISD educated illustrator and designer born and based in San Francisco. She is the illustrator of numerous picture books, including FIGHT OF THE CENTURY by Barb Rosenstock, DOROTHEA LANGE by Carole Boston Weatherford, and ELIZABETH WARREN by Susan Wood.
Visit sarahgreenillustration.com.

Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9781635923230
Lexile Measure
1110L
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publication date
February 20, 2022
Series
-

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