by Lucy Knisley
Touchstone Books (Simon & Schuster), 2008
It's impossible to walk past this book without having the cover call out! If you give in and pick it up for a closer look, you'll find one of the most creative travel journals imaginable.
Lucy Knisley, nearing graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her mother took a six-week trip to Paris in celebration their milestone birthdays (her 22nd and her mother's 50th) . French Milk is Lucy's journal of the trip, as told through drawings, photos, and text.
We follow their daily excursions through the city - from the Eiffel Tower, art museums, and boutiques, to cafes, bistros, bookstores (where she's delighted to find many familiar 'friends' so far from home), and even Oscar Wilde's grave.
Knisley shares what she's thinking, reading, and worrying about, but mostly we learn what she's eating! The book is full of drawings and descriptions of meals, restaurants, markets, wines, and the delicious French whole milk. Evidently there's no such thing as skim milk in Paris!
We also catch very honest glimpses into her relationship with her mother.
This book provided a light, fun look at a Parisian adventure. It would appeal to anyone interested in travel journals, graphic novels, or food. It might also be a good introduction to graphic novels in general.
My only complaint, and it's a minor one, is that some of the photos were not as clear as I would have liked. But then again, these were personal snapshots and it did add to the 'homemade' look. So, go ahead and spend a couple of hours with French Milk. I doubt you'll be disappointed!
(click on the photos to enlarge)