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From "Roman Holiday" to "Breakfast at Tiffany's," when Audrey Hepburn starred in a movie, she lit up the screen. Her unique sense of fashion, her grace, and, most important, her spirit made her beloved by generations. But her life offscreen was even more luminous. As a little girl growing up in Nazi-occupied Europe, she learned early on that true kindness is the greatest measure of a person--and it was a lesson she embodied as she became one of the first actresses to use her celebrity to shine a light on the impoverished children of the world through her work with UNICEF.
This is Audrey Hepburn as a little girl, an actress, an icon, an inspiration; this is Audrey just being Audrey.
Margaret Cardillo earned her MFA in creative writing as a James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Miami. A former children's book editor in New York City, she now lives in South Florida. The hardest question for Julia Denos to answer is "What is your favorite color?" She has illustrated several children's books, including Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo, I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn, Dotty by Erica S. Perl, Grandma's Gloves by Cecil Castellucci, and Letters to Leo by Amy Hest. This is the first book she has written and illustrated. Julia lives in Boston.
"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." -- Booklist "Audrey Hepburn proves as irresistible a character in the pages of a children's book as she is in those soigne roles of the silver screen." -- Publishers Weekly
K-Gr 3-In this delightful introduction to Audrey Hepburn, readers learn that as a child, she was gangly and imaginative, in a world of her own. When she announced that she wanted to be the prima ballerina of all of Europe, her mother told her that the world was bigger than she was, and to always be kind, a tenet that seems to have stuck with her for life. She was born into a family of some privilege (her mother was a baroness), but their small wealth was no match for the advancing Nazi troops in World War II. Along with her family and 40 others, she hid in a country house with no heat and little to eat. Through the ordeal, she kept dancing and taught the other children. As the war in Europe ended, a UN volunteer gave her a chocolate bar, an act of kindness that seemed to inspire her. After the young woman realized that she would be more suited to acting, her Cinderella career took her from London to Broadway to Hollywood, but the power in this book lies beyond her fame in the spotlight. Her generous humanitarian spirit is seen through her actions and deeds as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF as she used her celebrity as a vehicle to assist others. With a light, sweet narrative style, readers can almost picture Hepburn dancing as they turn the pages. Evocative of the period, Denos's almost impressionistic pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork is lively and colorful. This picture-book biography is a great addition to any collection.-Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.