Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just Being Audrey

Just Being Audrey. Margaret Cardillo. Illustrated by Julia Denos. 2011. HarperCollins. 32 pages.

More than anything, Audrey wanted to be a ballerina. She was too tall, her feet were too big, and her neck was too long. Still, Audrey danced on. She held fairy-tale ballets in her yard, the trees and squirrels were her audience. Audrey's brothers would tease her, always off in her own world. But her mother understood. "It is just like Audrey to do her own thing!"

Just Being Audrey is a lovely picture book biography of Audrey Hepburn. The book follows her from her childhood in war-torn Europe, to her Broadway debut in Gigi, to her successful career as a Hollywood actress, to her work with UNICEF.

I loved many things about this one. I loved the writing. There's just something special about it. I loved the way the the author told Audrey's story. For example,
"Audrey often played characters who went through some kind of transformation, both inside and out. But in real life, Audrey always knew just who she was, and just where she had come from" 
and
"The very things that made her appear awkward as a child? They were precisely the things that made her beautiful as an adult." 

I thought it was well-written.

I also loved the illustrations. I did. I thought the illustrator did a GREAT job capturing Audrey's look. If you're familiar with any of Audrey's works, you'll recognize them instantly. And there's something delightful about making that connection. "Roman Holiday!" or "My Fair Lady!" Or "Breakfast at Tiffany's!" The illustrations show her public life and her private life--as does the text.

I would recommend this one.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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