Monday, July 9, 2012

The JC100: A Celebration of Julia Child {Book: Minette's Feast by Susanna Reich}

Minette's Feast by Susanna Reich and Illustrated by Amy Bates - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Over the past several weeks, the online world has been buzzing about Julia Child, sharing recipes and personal reminiscences of the culinary icon in anticipation of what would have been Julia's 100th birthday on August 15. I've been participating in The JC100 by preparing some of Julia's celebrated dishes and posting the recipes for them on Taste As You Go in hopes of inspiring some of you to get in your kitchen and experiment with French cuisine.

Now, with the publication of Minette's Feast, a children's book written by Susanna Reich and illustrated by Amy Bates, a whole new generation can be introduced to Julia's legacy through an endearing story about the chef's mouse-loving cat.


Illustration by Amy Bates in Susanna Reich's Children's Book, Minette's Feast - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Bates' illustrations are stunning and draw you into Reich's story, crafted around quotations from source materials, including her autobiography, letters, and cookbooks. While the life Julia and Paul shared in Paris was full of food and love, they were missing something -- "Une maison sans chat, c'est la via sans soleil!"

("A house without a cat is like life without sunshine!")

Michelle and Maizey - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

As a cat-lover and a former cat-owner, I completely agree.

Illustration by Amy Bates in Susanna Reich's Children's Book, Minette's Feast - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Julia and Paul decided to adopt a cat, and Minette became the best-fed cat in Paris, feasting both on her preferred meal of mice and birds and on the decadent leftovers from Julia's kitchen, including "chicken liver custard".

Illustration by Amy Bates in Susanna Reich's Children's Book, Minette's Feast - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

Not only did the story charm me into reading the book several times -- I'm not ashamed! -- but it also provided an opportunity to learn a few words and phrases in French. While reading about Julia's adventures in learning to master the art of French cooking, adults and children alike can learn to master some words and phrases in the French language. Fantastique!

Illustration by Amy Bates in Susanna Reich's Children's Book, Minette's Feast - Photo by Michelle Judd of Taste As You Go

If you haven't read Minette's Feast yet, then I highly recommend picking up a copy for your personal library or borrowing a copy from your local library. I promise... it'll be a treat!

Illustrations by Amy Bates.

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Taste As You Go Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of Susanna Reich's book at no cost to me. I did not accept monetary compensation for writing about this book or about my experiences while reading the story. All opinions expressed are my own.