Just Being Audrey

Balzer + Bray (pub. 1.25.2011)
An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers 
32 pages  Grades 1-3

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top
               and Illustrator:  JULIA DENOS

C haracters: Audrey Hepburn,
            a movie actress
            and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

O verview from the picture book jacket flap:

    “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 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."
T antalizing taste: 
"Audrey traveled all over the world bringing
aid to children in need. 'Like the flowers,' she
said, 'it's the same with children: With a little
help they can survive and they can stand up 
and live another day.'
and something more: After watching Audrey Hepburn's wonderful movies as a girl, I remember trying to stretch my neck in the hopes that I could look and be more like the graceful Audrey Hepburn.  The lovely illustrations and Margaret Cardillo's text capture Audrey's "spirit and joie de vivre", as well as her sense of purpose. As Julia Denos blogged: "Apart from her "look", Audrey's intense need to give, and the joy she experienced doing so, was one of her most stunning characteristics."  After reading the new children's picture book biography, Just Being Audrey, I was curious to read what she actually said to Congress in 1989 that inspired additional support of UNICEF.  Yes, her heart-felt speech to the Select Committee on Hunger embodies the power of words:
"The question I am most frequently asked is, 'What do you really do for UNICEF?' Clearly, my task is to inform, to create an awareness of the needs of children and to fully understand the problems of the state of the world's children. It would be nice to be an expert on education, economics, politics, religions, traditions, and cultures. I am none of these things, but I am a mother, and unhappily there is a need for great advocacy for children, children haunted by undernourishment, disease and death... Every child has the right to health, tenderness, to life."
Yes, indeed.  Just being Audrey was quite wonderful indeed.

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