*Starred Review* In Paris, at the turn of the last century, lived a postman named Lalouche. Skinny—but nimble—bony—but with strong arms—he 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! Preschool-Grade 2. --Ilene Cooper
Starred Review, Booklist, June 1, 2013:
“A delight artistically and emotionally...Très bien!
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, March 11, 2013:
“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!”Starred Review, School Library Journal, April 2013:
“The illustrations are outstanding–Blackall has outdone herself… The text and pictures work expertly together, moving the story forward in clever and funny ways.”