The headlines this week will likely go to Bob Spitz’s Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child (Knopf), so here’s a quick note about two other recent additions to the Julia Child 100th-birthday bookshelf. Curiously, both titles take cats as their theme, and both are from Abrams. Julia’s Cats: Julia Child’s Life in the Company of Cats, by Patricia Barey and Therese Burson, is a slim hardcover that traces the Childs’ life in France as framed by their felines.
Their Parisian pet Minette gets a cameow in Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat, a children’s book by Susanna Reich. Reich, an experienced biographer for young audiences, has done her homework and cites her sources for bits of dialogue and description excerpted from Child’s letters and biographies. Leisurely picture-book pacing, wordplay, and pencil-and-watercolor illustrations by Amy Bates lend the book an old-fashioned air–pleasant, if more sepia-toned than you may remember Julia or envision post-war Paris.