Mighty Lalouche
Mighty Lalouche
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Annotation: In Paris, France, more than a hundred years ago, a small man named Lalouche is let go from his job as a mail carrier and discovers that he has great skill as a fighter.
Catalog Number: #5396378
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Illustrator: Blackall, Sophie,
Pages: 40
Availability: Indefinitely Out of Stock
ISBN: 0-375-86225-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-375-86225-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2010031825
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
A help-wanted poster catches the eye of a redundant Parisian postman. "Are you nimble? Are you fast? Are you strong?" Lalouche is all three, and thus begins his career as a boxer. The stylishly funny text demands to be read aloud; the jaunty, kindly pictures in cut-paper collage cast lovely shadows, with the book design giving us ringside seats.
Publishers Weekly
Lalouche does not start out mighty in the least. A humble postman in 19th-century Paris, -He was small, Lalouche, and rather bony,- writes Olshan (Finn), whose effortless prose has a giddy Gallic lilt throughout. And yet, Lalouche-s -hands were nimble, his legs were fast, and his arms were strong,- qualities that serve him well when he is replaced on his route by an electric autocar and instead finds employment as sparring partner at the Bastille Boxing Club. Soon, the wiry, speedy Lalouche is a boxing champion and the toast of tout-Paris, vanquishing such deliciously named foes as the Anaconda, the Pointillist, and the Misanthrope. It-s easy to imagine a book about an unprepossessing civil servant and the belle epoque craze for la boxe française as having a rarified appeal at best, but Olshan and Blackall (Edwin Speaks Up) have created a bona fide knockout. Lalouche is an endearingly oddball hero, and Blackall takes her always-exquisite ink-and-watercolor artwork to another level, creating three-dimensional cut-out scenes that have the intensity of silent film and the magic of an exquisitely crafted toy theater. C-est formidable! Ages 4-8. Illustrator-s agent: Nancy Gallt, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (May)

School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 3&12; Lalouche is a Parisian postman living more than 100 years ago. Though diminutive, he is blessed with strong arms, nimble fingers, and fast legs. When he is sacked, thanks to the invention of an electric automobile, he must find a way to support himself and his beloved pet finch, Genevi&2;ve. Desperate, Lalouche joins the Bastille Boxing Club. Because he is so small, he is repeatedly underestimated as he continues to win matches against much bigger opponents, including gigantic Anaconda. It is when he fights "for country, mail, and Genevi&2;ve" that readers learn, "one should never underestimate a man who loves his finch." The story, along with the language, is entertaining; names like Diamond Jacques and the Grecque, and words like "tomfoolery," will keep readers and listeners amused. Some French is sprinkled throughout, e.g., "C'est impossible ," and a glossary helps with translation. The illustrations are outstanding-Blackall has outdone herself. The ink-and-watercolor artwork was cut out, arranged in layers, and photographed, resulting in an eye-catching, textured, three-dimensional effect that children will love poring over. The text and pictures work expertly together, moving the story forward in clever and funny ways; Lalouche's facial expressions alone should elicit giggles from readers. An author's note about the history of French boxing and the invention of the electric car further enhance this captivating tale with a wonderful moral: small people are capable of great feats.&12; Laura Lutz, Pratt Institute, New York City
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* In Paris, at the turn of the last century, lived a postman named Lalouche. Skinny t nimble ny t with strong arms resides with his finch, Geneviève. One day Lalouche turns up at the post office only to learn that an electric auto will replace him on his route. Mon dieu! Who will pay for his rented room? How will he feed Geneviève? When a poster for a boxing club catches his attention, Lalouche has an idea. He shall become a boxer! The club manager is dubious, but what Lalouche lacks in strength, he makes up for in his ability to twist, turn, leap, and squirm. Soon he has beaten the burly stars of the ring: the Anaconda, the Grecque. But when the electric cars prove a bust, he is thrilled to return to his job as postman. The text is more action-packed idea than story, but it neatly serves its purpose as a vehicle for Blackall's amazing artwork. The illustrations, made with Chinese ink and watercolors, are cutouts arranged in layers and then photographed. This gives the spreads a 3-D look, with the effect being more of looking at a diorama than a page in a book. Wonderful details abound, from the expressions on the boxers' faces to the finch flying around the ring. The final scene of Lalouche on the balcony of his new Paris apartment is a delight artistically and emotionally. But we're not quite done: the endpapers feature posters of France's most powerful pugilists in all their punchy glory. Très bien!
Word Count: 926
Reading Level: 3.7
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.7 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 158660 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD690L

Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Sophie Blackall brings to life this marvelous story, which is full of humor and heart. In Paris, France, there lived a humble postman named Lalouche. He was small, but his hands were nimble, his legs were fast, and his arms were strong. When his job was replaced by an electric car, he turned to boxing to support himself and his pet finch, Genevieve. But—"You? A boxer?" the fighters asked. "I could sneeze and knock you down!" Still, Lalouche refused to give up. And perhaps small Lalouche was just nimble . . . just fast . . . and just strong enough to beat his fierce competitors. 

Includes an author's note with historical information about French boxing and electric cars.

"A bona fide knockout. C'est formidable!" Publishers Weekly, Starred

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