Married D.B. Johnson (an illustrator and artist), August 28, 1971; children: three children.
Zuzu's Wishing Cake, illustrated by D.B. Johnson, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.
Featuring cartoon-style illustrations by her artist/author husband, D.B. Johnson, Linda Michelin's picture-book debut Zuzu's Wishing Cake tells a simple story about bridging cultures. Zuzu is a friendly little girl who is happy to discover that a little boy and his family have moved in to the house next door. She makes several attempts to communicate with the boy, but he never responds. Ultimately, she creates a "wishing cake" out of layers of bread and strawberries, topping her culinary creation with a bright yellow dandelion. Presenting the cake to the mother of the house, Zuzu learns that her new neighbor, Hashim, does not speak English—he is East Indian. He does understand the language of the wishing cake, however, and answers Zuzu's gift with a bright smile.
In Kirkus Reviews a contributor praised Michelin's picture-book debut as "heartfelt and winning," noting that Johnson's mixed-media paintings "playfully convey Zuzu's bubbly enthusiasm." Describing Zuzu's Wishing Cake as a "deceptively simple story with a comic-book feel," Amy Lilien-Harper dubbed the story a "paean to creativity and friendship across cultures."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, October 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Zuzu's Wishing Cake, p. 60.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of Zuzu's Wishing Cake, p. 908.
School Library Journal, October, 2006, Am Lilien-Harper, review of Zuzu's Wishing Cake, p. 118.