It turns out August 15, 2012 would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. To celebrate, we’re having another Julia book giveaway but first we’d like to announce the winner of last week’s Julia’s Cats: Julia Child’s Life in the Company of Cats giveaway winner is Janice R. Congratulations! Look for an email from Layla Morgan Wilde.
When a publicist from Abrams Books sent me a review copy of Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and her Cat it felt like a feast for all the senses. My assistant Merlin agreed.
The gorgeous book by Susanna Reich and illustrated by Amy Bates is suitable for readers from ages 3 to 100. It chronicles the pivotal time in Julia Child’s life when she discovered her passion for both cooking and for cats. Minette was Julia’s first cat or as she liked to call them “poussiquettes” in France, and this story captures in beguiling detail their charmed and charming relationship.
The quality of the hard cover book, like everything from Abrams Books is top notch. With very young kids, I prefer removing the flap jacket and was pleasantly surprised to find more scrumptious illustrations.
When I found out the author lived near me in Westchester County, I contacted her. Susanna and I had a lovely chat on the phone and she generously consented to a last minute Q & A.
Q & A with Susanna Reich
SR: I’ve always been a Julia Child fan. Then I found out she was a cat lover who got her first cat when she lived in Paris. Lucky Minette ate Julia’s leftovers and played with a Brussels sprout tied to a string. In return she’d leave mice on the living room rug. Who could resist such a great story?
LMW: Julia Child did not become a cat person until she moved to Paris. Why do you think cats became so important to Julia, and do you think French cats any different?
SR: Julia was a born nurturer–just look at the way she loved to feed people. She and her husband didn’t have any children, and Minette became part of the family. As for French cats, they’re just like cats everywhere. Except they speak French!
LMW: What message would you like readers of Minette’s Feast to take away?
SR: Julia was more than a famous TV chef and cookbook author–she had a happy marriage and a loving, playful relationship with her cat. I hope readers will laugh at the humor and enjoy the book as a beautiful little snapshot of her life in Paris–romantic, picturesque, and food- and cat-centered.
LMW: You had the honor of designing special floral arrangements for Julia Child’s 80th birthday party. Celebrities often have different public and private personas. What Julia was like in person?
SR: She was exactly the way she was on TV–funny, relaxed, down-to-earth, and a bit of a ham.
LMW: Many writers have feline “assistants”. Can you tell our readers a little about yours?
SR: My cat, Chloe, sits on my desk while I work. She thinks Minette’s Feast is her book and claims it says so, right on the dedication page. She’s right, of course.
LMW: When is you next book signing of Minette’s Feast?
SR: August 18 at Books of Wonder in New York City; September 15 at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside in Tarrytown, NY; September 23 at the Brooklyn Book Festival; and September 29 at the Baltimore Book Festival.
LMW: What book project are you currently working on?
SR: A picture book about the young Beatles. The working title is Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles.
To learn more about the prolific and multi-talented author, visit her Website at SusannaReich.com
For a quirky and delightfully illustrated Q & A with the illustrator of Minette’s feast, Amy Bates, visit here
Enter to win a copy of Minette’s Feast by simply leaving a comment at this post anytime until 11:59 PM EST August, 11, 2012. The winner will be announced next Sunday. Good Luck Poussiquettes!
Merlin gives Minette’s Feast his highest rating of four paws.
If you must have a copy immediatement…