Just Being Audrey

Book Reviews

Booklist:
Just Being Audrey.
Cardillo, Margaret (author). Illustrated by Julia Denos.
Feb. 2011. 32p. HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray, hardcover, $16.99 (9780061852831). Grades 1-3. 791.4302.

REVIEW. First published December 1, 2010 (Booklist).

It’s hard to believe life for Audrey Hepburn was ever anything but smart clothes, quirky expressions, and wistful gazes into the eyes of Cary Grant, but Cardillo makes a strong case to the contrary. Growing up in WWII–era Europe, Audrey wanted only to be a dancer, but the other girls made fun of her physical hurdles: “She was too tall, her feet were too big, and her neck was too long,” and “her eyes seemed too big for her head.” Young readers will get the message: these were precisely the traits that made Audrey an iconic beauty as an adult. In short order, she was spotted by entertainment heavyweights for her je ne sais quoi and quickly catapulted to fame. Denos’ soft pastel illustrations cut just the right Audrey outline (complete with flapping neck scarf), and fans will especially enjoy picking out the movie roles depicted in a two-page spread of costumes. Her later humanitarian deeds are given their due, but it is Audrey’s simple kindness that is emphasized throughout. — Daniel Kraus


Horn Book Guide:

Cardillo, Margaret Just Being Audrey
32 pp. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-185283-1
(3) K-3 Illustrated by Julia Denos.
From Audrey Hepburn’s childhood in Nazi-occupied Europe, to a film career, motherhood, and role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, this picture book biography encapsulates Hepburn’s “certain something.” Cardillo’s prose is focused and elegant; Denos’s paintings perfectly depict the delicate beauty and iconic style of her subject. Author and illustrator notes detail the lasting influence of Hepburn’s achievements and charisma. Timeline. Bib.

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