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The Luckiest Cat in the World!

You’ve heard the term, “lucky dog,” but what about “lucky cat?” Well, if you were Julia Child’s cat in Paris, you’d be the luckiest cat in the world. Nearly two decades after meeting Julia Child in 1993, author Susanna Reich wrote Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat, ($16.99, Abrams Books, ages 3 and Up). Susanna was the floral designer for Mrs. Child’s 80th birthday celebration, and later, after reading her memoir decided she would someday write a children’s book about Child using the real dialogue from Julia Child’s memoirs.

Minette’s Feast is a charming true-life story of a cat, adopted by the Childs in Paris, who came into the family just as Julia Child herself was perfecting her cooking skills. What a lucky cat indeed! One day, Minette waits patiently for a nibble, while Julia prepares a spectacular cut of beef. We feel the cat’s unbearable anticipation as we read the story and cheer on the hungry cat who’d do anything to have a just one bite. Who wouldn’t want to taste anything prepared by Julia Child?!!!

What I love about this simple story is that it introduces young readers to the life of Julia Child, who was really the pioneer in the world of home cooking. The superb illustrations by Amy Bates are enchanting and so fitting for the story, and I promise you’ll love them! In the back of the book is a photo of Julia with a Forward about her life, Notes, Sources and a Glossary. Any child who loves cats, who loves to eat or cook, will love reading Minette’s Feast, and so will you.

– Reviewed by Debbie Glade

One Wedding and a Meltdown

Ask Amy Green: Bridesmaid Blitz by Sarah Webb ($6.99, Candlewick, ages 11 and up) is a quick-paced, light reading “romp” through the 13- year-old Dubliner Amy Green’s fall school year.  As this is Ireland, the school structure is different, but the same girl clicks and teen dreams are all there. Filled with zany characters, Dublin-ese teen lingo (Fun and Funny!) and a positive view of contemporary family structures – Amy has strong bonds with devoted, divorced parents, half-siblings, and supportive cousin role models and godmothers.  She has tricky relationships to build with both of her parents’ significant others.  Webb provides an enticing glimpse at Paris as Amy and company travel there on a surprise shopping trip for Amy’s bride-to-be mother (hence, the title) for Amy’s mother.  The quaint Parisian side streets, delicious boulangerie aromas and alluring fashion boutiques are all there for the tasting!  Bridesmaid Blitz is a series that any tween thru teen would love to explore! Start with Bridesmaid Blitz or one of Webb’s funky “Ask Amy” titles in the series – Boy Trouble or Summer Secrets.

Ask Amy Green: Bridesmaid Blitz was reviewed by guest reviewer Dr. Juli Barry from Los Angeles. Dr. Barry has her PhD in 20th century American fiction.

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