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The Mighty Lalouche Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; 1st edition (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375862250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375862250
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*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.”

More About the Author

I spent too much of my youth studying. My studies took me to Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Oxford Universities. I liked learning languages and reading great literature. All along, I was writing my own stories, too.

But a life of the mind was never really enough for me. I wasn't particularly good with my hands, but curiosity always got the better of me.

In the past few years, I've been doing a lot more writing than trades work, but I've never given up my interest in making things. My latest project is bringing an old cider press back to life. Old, as in, made around 1870, with a quartersawn oak frame and massive cast iron grinding and pressing mechanisms. It's been a challenge, both for the restoration woodworking involved, and also because there's metalworking, too. I don't know very much about metalworking. But I'm learning.

Most of the time, I live in Baltimore, but we also have a little farm in southcentral Pennsylvania, which we call Pencil Creek. We don't have an apple orchard yet, but we may someday.

I'd like to learn how to brew sparkling cider. Perhaps this year!

I've written about life up at the Creek in a series of weekly op-eds for the Perry County Times. Those columns are archived on my website,

You can read about my fiction there, too.

I love hearing from readers. Please feel free to get in touch with me by email. Especially if you know how to do something strange and interesting. But even if you don't.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Gonnerman on May 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Not just for Francophiles, Olshan and Blackall have produced a delightful, uplifting, fun story of courage and celebration of the human spirit (and speed, agility, and fitness). With clever illustrations and simple, but engaging text, readers will feel like they are in the audience watching the action in the ring! A few simple French phrases along with interesting and even lovable characters make this a "must have" that will be enjoyed by adults and children alike. I also like that children and adults who are fans of boxing and similar sports learn a bit of history about its origins and variations (like the connections to our modern kick boxing). There is a short "Author's Note" with historical photos and facts about La boxe francaise (French boxing) and the 1890s and early 1900s electric car. The illustrations are delightful. Read it for yourself and you'll root for the underdog postman as he steps in the ring with "The Piston," "The Anaconda" and other international (and tough contenders). His magnificent mustache and touching fondness for his finch, Genevieve are the icing on the cake! I am not a fan of boxing, but I loved this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. H. Carpenter on June 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This new gem from the team of Sophie Blackall and Matthew Olshan makes a delightful stew from some very unexpected ingredients. Who would have thought that early electric cars, a skinny boxer, the postal service and a tiny finch would add up to a classic children's book? Blackall and Olshan, of course. Our 5 year-old loves this book, and it is now our default birthday gift to all of her friends. The delicate charm of the generous illustrations and the clever wordplay and plot twists and sure the please young and old. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By stephanie k. olshan on August 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book will become a children's classic. It should be on every child's book shelf and an endearing read for parent with child.
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By marnie waxman on December 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We just got this book three days ago and my six year old son has not stopped asking me to read it. This is a book that I will never tire of reading as it's not only clever, funny but Olshan has created a special character in postman Lalouche. This is a great book. We have hundreds of books and this is one of my favorites.
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