Just Being Audrey By Margaret Cardillo




This week we’re breaking from the norm and reviewing a biography. It’s still written for children, but rather than being a typical picture story, this book tells the life story of the one and only, Audrey Hepburn.


Beginning with Audrey’s childhood in Belgium, where she dreamed of being a ballerina, and continuing through her family fleeing to Holland and going into hiding throughout World War 2, this book is an insight to the aspects of Audrey Hepburn many are simply unaware of. Audrey is known as a beautiful face, but much more than that, she had the most beautiful heart.

Her mother taught her to be kind and she spent her life putting this into practice. Even after winning an Oscar and becoming super-famous, Audrey would still cook dinners for the cast and crew of her movies.

In 1988, once her own children had grown, Audrey became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF – the very same organisation that had helped her throughout the war. She travelled the world, bringing aid to children in need. Her involvement with UNICEF, saw the American funding for the organisation doubled and in 1992, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Audrey Hepburn is the definition of beauty, inside and out.

Why I love it:

I have adored Audrey Hepburn for many, many years now; I think probably since seeing Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Sabrina, when I was a young teenager. Each year, for Christmas, my husband gives me an Audrey Hepburn wall calendar, so I can see her every day of my life.  I first fell in love with her because of her style and elegance, but have grown to love her so much more for everything else she embodied.

Any of you who regularly read these book reviews will know that I value kindness extremely highly. To me, kindness is what makes everything better and to teach kindness is to improve the world. Audrey Hepburn spent her whole life teaching and spreading kindness, and this is no small thing.

Positive role models for our children, can be hard to come by these days and so much emphasis is placed on appearance, over personality. I believe Audrey Hepburn is a wonderful role-model, in every way and I believe we can all benefit from knowing a little more about this amazing human.


Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Biographies
  • Non-fiction
  • Fame
  • Beauty
  • Hardship
  • Dreams and ambitions
  • The opinions of others
  • Kindness
  • Gratitude
  • Style and grace
  • Charity
  • The lives of others
  • Leaving a legacy/having an impact

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • Have you ever heard of a famous ‘Audrey’?
  • What is one word you would use to describe the woman on the cover?
  • Why do you think the author has called the book ‘Just Being Audrey’?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
  • Was this a fiction or a non-fiction book?
  • Have you ever read a biography before?
  • How is this different from an autobiography?
  • What did you enjoy learning about most in this story?
  • Do you think Audrey Hepburn is someone you would have liked to have met?
  • What do you like most about her?
  • If you could ask Audrey Hepburn one question, what would it be?
  • How do you think Audrey Hepburn would like to be remembered?
  • Now that we’ve read the book, why do you think the author called it ‘Just Being Audrey’?

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