Just Being Audrey

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Sponsored by Susanna Leonard Hill

Title: Just Being Audrey

Written by Margaret Cardillo and illustrated by Julia Denos

HarperCollins 2011

Suitable for: grades 3-5

Themes:  acting, dance, war, philanthropy

Opening and Brief Synopsis: “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 her audience.”  This is the life story of Audrey Hepburn.

Resources: http://margaretcardillo.com/

*This book is a new release and a 2012-2013 nominee for the Texas Bluebonnet Award. I will add activity links to this post as soon as they are created. I have no doubt that the Texas Library Association is working on several as I type!

Why I like this book: This book is technically a biography, but it reads like a picture book. The simple watercolor and ink illustrations complement the story perfectly. I learned many interesting facts about Audrey Hepburn’s personal and professional life in this book.  I didn’t know, for example, that she, her family and forty other people hid from the Nazis in a small house in the Dutch countryside during World War II.  Just Being Audrey is a beautiful story about an individual who, above all, remained true to herself throughout her life. I simply adore Just Being Audrey!

Watch the book trailer:


21 responses to “Just Being Audrey

  1. This sounds like a grand book! And I am not surprised it already has one award nomination! I am quite a fan of Audrey Hepburn, and she is European, so I do know quite a bit about her life and humanitarian work. Thank you so much for introducing it to us. Lovely trailer too!

    • I absolutely love this book, Joanna! My mom is a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, so I have learned a lot about Audrey from her. I didn’t know that she was an Ambassador for UNICEF until reading this book. I am going to borrow Mom’s Roman Holiday DVD-Audrey Hepburn and Richard Peck-how can you possibly go wrong? 🙂

      • I love that movie, especially the Vespa! Riding a Vespa is so cool! I have visited Rome many times too, so have no problem envisioning the scenes.

  2. elizabethannewrites

    This book looks lovely, and from the looks of it gives us a glimpse into the person, and the heart of that person, instead of just being an ode to the icon. Good to show kids that “stardom” isn’t all about glitz and glamor, but can also be a springboard to amazing work for others. Thank you!

    • You are exactly right, Beth-Just Being Audrey is definitely more about the “person” rather than the “star.” I hope my students will be interested in learning more about her after reading this book.

  3. Oh, I can’t wait to read this one! It sounds great! Would you say it’s fiction or non-fiction? I couldn’t tell from Amazon. I love biographies that read like picture books, and I appreciate your choice of a picture book that is suitable for older audiences. Thanks for another great addition to my growing library list 🙂

    • Hi, Susanna! This book is cataloged as a biography, so it is going to be considered non-fiction. These are my favorite kinds of non-fiction books-they are easy for the kids to read and understand. Happy to share this! 🙂

  4. I took one look at the cover and knew it was about Audrey Hepburn. I have always been an Audrey fan. I love this book and will have to read it. You always have such unique selections and I can’t wait to see whas you’ve chosen. This one is special!

  5. Hi Pat! I agree-this book is really special. I think it will be a big contender next year for the Texas Bluebonnet Award. I love this award program, because the TLA panel finds the most unique and interesting books that I might otherwise have never seen or read.

  6. Catherine Johnson

    Right down to the music that was wonderful. I can’t think of a nicer actress to have a pb written about her, wonderful!

  7. I always love Audrey Hepburn as a child. And, I’m always looking for non-fiction books. I’m glad you are introducing us to the Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees.

    • I can’t wait to read the other nominated books, Stacy. They just came in a few days ago. I usually have a favorite each year. I love the variety of genres that are represented with this award. I’ll let you all know if there are any other gems on the list! I need to check and see if other states have a similar award-I’m sure they do. It would be interesting to see if some of the same titles appear on several state lists. In the past we have had books on our list that have gone on to win much bigger awards-like Hugo Cabret (now a movie!) which later won the Caledecott.

  8. What a great way to present a biography! I can’t wait to pick this one up for my daughter. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oh this is a gem of a book Kelly! Loved the trailer to, so Audrey, simplicity perfection. I love reading about her and knew much of her work. A great fine.

  10. A biography picture book sounds interesting!

  11. I’ve heard about this book but hadn’t really read anything about it yet. I’ve been very interested in picture book biographies lately, too, so I will have to check this one out. I hope my library gets it soon!

  12. This one is definitely worth owning -especially if you love Audrey Hepburn 🙂 It’s pretty new-hope your library purchases it for you!

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