Cause for celebration

Julia Child on the set of "The French Chef" in 1970. (PBS)

Minette's Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat, by Susanna Reich, Abrams,$16.95

France awakened in Julia Child a hunger for both good food and good cat companionship. This lavishly illustrated children's book tells the story of Minette Mimosa McWilliams Child, Julia's first cat. The tale of "the luckiest cat in all of Paris" is played out against the larger story of Child really learning how to cook, a process which would lead to her stellar career. Amy Bates' illustrations are charmingly lyrical and loaded with all sorts of telling details that bring Julia Child — and Minette — fully to life.

Out now in paperback editions:

"As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child & Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship & the Making of a Masterpiece" (Mariner, $15.95), edited by Joan Reardon.

"Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child" (Anchor, $18.95), by Noel Riley Fitch, with a new introduction by the author.

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

Bob Spitz, Knopf, 576 pages, $29.95

Bob Spitz will speak on Sept. 13 about "Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child" at two Chicagoland locations.

Vernon Hills: Noon, Sullivan Center, 635 Aspen Dr. To register call the Cook Memorial Public Library District, 847-362-2330.

Lake Villa: 7 p.m., Lake Villa District Library, 1001 East Grand Ave., 847-356-7711.