The Children’s Book Review | November 26, 2014
Story by Kyo Maclear; Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Age Range: 4-8
Hardcover: 32 Pages
Publisher: Tundra Books (July 8, 2014)
What to expect: Food, Aspiration, Life Lessons
A beautifully illustrated book about food, togetherness, and the unique world of childhood.
The story centers around Julia and her friend Simca, who both love French food. Although the title, and love of French cuisine, nod to Julia Child the book is not about the well-known chef. Rather, this is a book about the unique way children see the world, and how adults can learn a great deal from the perspectives of children.
As the story unfolds, the two friends work diligently at learning how to cook, making many mistakes along the way—fallen cakes; burnt fish—learning the importance of practice and patience. As good friends do, they sometimes fight with one another – but they always make up. Eventually, Julia and Simca produce food so delicious that when adults try it they are able to see the world as a child does, with openness and love…until they start to fight over the delicious fare, greedily wanting more and more of it for themselves. In the end, the friends produce a book of recipes so that the grown-ups can have as much of this special food as they want. The book is called, Mastering the Art of Childhood.
Kyo Maclear’s writing manages to be touching without being sentimental, insightful without being preachy, and tender without being maudlin. This same delicate artistry is repeated by the remarkably beautiful and restrained illustrations of Julie Morstad. Together, the book is a compelling story to read – and to look at.
Add this book to your collection: Julia, Child
About the Author
Kyo Maclear is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author for big people and little people. Her previous picture books for children include Spork, Mr. Fluxand Virginia Wolf, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration, Canada’s most prestigious children’s book prize. The Letter Opener, her first novel for adults, won the K.M. Hunter Artists Award and was shortlisted for the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her most recent novel, Stray Love, appeared on several notable “Best of 2012” lists. She lives in Toronto with singer and composer David Wall and their two children. Visit her online at kyomaclearkids.com.
About the Illustrator
Julie Morstad is an author, illustrator and artist living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her most recent book for children, How To, marks her authorial debut, and has received starred reviews in Kirkus, School Library Journal andQuill & Quire, as well as a Governor General’s award nomination. Books she has illustrated for children include When You Were Small, recipient of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award; When I Was Small, winner of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize; and Singing Away the Dark, which was shortlisted for a number of children’s literature prizes.
Julia, Child, by Kyo Maclear, was reviewed by Trevor Laurence Jockims. Follow along with our Picture Books category to discover more great books for sharing with your kids.
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