23 March 2013

Weekend Cooking: Minette's Feast by Susanna Reich

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Last year on the 100th anniversary of Julia Child's birth, almost everyone in the food world had some way of remembering the famous cook. When my review of Jessie Hartland's Bon App├ętit: The Delicious Life of Julia Child caught Susanna Reich's eye, she kindly offered to send me a copy of her children's book about Julia Child's cat.

Minette's Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat, written by Reich and illustrated by Amy Bales, is a wonderful addition to my collection of books by and about the great American icon. The story of Minette is also about Julia Child when she first moved to France and began her studies of French cooking.

Let me tell you, that Minette was one lucky cat to live with such a fantastic cook and such lively owners. But, despite Child's growing skills in the kitchen, Minette was not always interested in eating the same thing that her humans ate. She was, after all, a cat and so loved to hunt and couldn't resist her favorite dinner: mouse!

Even if your youngsters would turn their noses up--like Minette--when served one of Child's delicious dishes, they won't be able to resist this fun tale of the French cat who found her way to one of the best kitchens in the world.

The pencil and watercolor illustrations, by Bales, are beautiful and charming, capturing the spirit and personality of Julia and Paul Child as well as the curiosity and playfulness of Minette. You can get an idea from the cover art as well as from the scan (click to enlarge). Showing us the cafes and streets of Paris and Child's cramped third-floor kitchen, Bales's artwork enlivens Reich's engaging tale about the much loved cat.

Author Susanna Reich closes Minette's Feast by telling us that all the dialogue in the book comes right from Child's own writings, including her personal letters. Reich also provides a fuller introduction to Julia Child and a glossary of the French terms used in the text. I fell in love with this sweet story, and so will you.

Buy Minette's Feast at an Indie or a bookstore near you. This link leads to an affiliate program.
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2012
ISBN-13: 9781419701771
Rating: B+
Source: Review (see review policy)


caite 3/23/13, 6:35 AM  

that was one lucky cat!! even if Julia did not serve mouse.
love the drawings!

jama 3/23/13, 6:42 AM  

Love Minette's Feast. Enjoyed interviewing both Susanna and Amy at Alphabet Soup; they also shared a favorite Julia recipe.

bermudaonion 3/23/13, 8:20 AM  

That looks and sounds like a marvelous book! I love the fact that the dialogue is authentic.

Unknown 3/23/13, 8:28 AM  

What a sweet book. I bet it might even help get picky eaters into the kitchen to try new things.

Rikki 3/23/13, 9:41 AM  

Sounds like a fun and beautiful book.

JoAnn 3/23/13, 9:44 AM  

This is such a beautiful book - I've borrowed a library copy a couple of times!

Vasilly 3/23/13, 11:48 AM  

I love picture books and the illustrations look beautiful. I'm going to order a copy from my library.

Les 3/23/13, 11:54 AM  

I've seen this book at work on several occasions and need to add it to my collection! I recently read (and fell in love with) Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland. Thanks for the lovely review of this book.

Beth S. 3/23/13, 12:17 PM  

I really enjoyed this one but I think I liked Bon Appetit better. A lot of people were put off by the hand-written text though because they thought it was difficult to read but I rather enjoyed it. Bon Appetit reminded me a lot of her own memoir, My Life in France.

Margot 3/23/13, 12:46 PM  

What a charming book - both words and pictures. And - not just for children.

Heather 3/23/13, 2:06 PM  

this sounds like and adorable story. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Carole 3/23/13, 2:30 PM  

Just love that cover! Hope you are having a good week.

Cecelia 3/23/13, 3:03 PM  

This sounds like the perfect gift book for the thoughtful cooks in my life - perhaps with an accompanying utensil or bar of chocolate! I'll have to search it out the next time I'm at a bookstore.

(Diane) bookchickdi 3/23/13, 6:10 PM  

You are right; that is one lucky (and smart) cat.

Gilion at Rose City Reader 3/23/13, 9:11 PM  

What a fun book and what a fun collection -- books by and about Julia Child. Cool!

Peggy Ann 3/23/13, 10:47 PM  

I'm not a Julia Child fan, but my daughter-in-law is and she might like this!

Peaceful Reader 3/23/13, 10:56 PM  

I spent a fair amount of my childhood listening to Julia Child teaching my mother how to cook through our console television. This looks like a wonderful book to learn more about her life.

Peppermint Ph.D. 3/24/13, 5:36 PM  

I somehow missed both Bon Appetit and Minette's Feast! Adding both of these to my "go get right now" list :) Both sound delightful!!

Daryl 3/25/13, 10:14 AM  

i think this sounds wonderful

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