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The Mighty Lalouche

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  626 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Schwartz & Wade
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2014 Mock Caldecott
17th out of 79 books — 223 voters
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Community Reviews

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Karyn The Pirate
Lalouche was a humble postman living in Paris, France around 150 years ago. He was not very tall and very skinny but, he was nimble, fast and strong. Lalouche loved being a postman until the day he was told he was being let go because the postal service had bought a fleet of electric cars. What was a small, bony postman to do? Then Lalouche saw an ad from the Bastille Boxing Club asking "Are you nimble? Are you fast? Are you strong?" Well, he was nimble; and he was fast; and he was strong, so La ...more
Mar 28, 2013 Angela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
First, I should note my bias for the artwork of Sophie Blackall. She is one of my most favored illustrators working today.

That said, this is a truely wonderful picture book.

You may not be interested in boxing, the postal service, or life in 1890 France, but this story is a gem.

Historical notes and keywords in French make this a great addition to school and library collections. The heroic story and beautiful art make it a great gift for little ones sitting in a lap and absorbing the world. Par
May 07, 2013 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Over 100 years ago in Paris, there was a postman named Lalouche who thanks to his job delivering the mail was nimble, strong and fast. He lived a quiet life with just his pet finch and a view of the Seine River. When his job was replaced with an electric car, he was forced to turn to boxing to support himself. At first, he was laughed at because he was so small and slight, but once he got in the ring, he proved that those same postal service skills made him a great boxer. Soon he was pitted agai ...more
Jim Erekson
Jan 26, 2014 Jim Erekson rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
The fun in this one was the clear sense of period coming through in the illustrations. The historical approach gives it just the odd slice of reality I hope for. Many times it may be more interesting for history to insert a fictional character into a well-drawn period than to focus on people. So much of history is not about a certain individual, which is what I learned from Howard Zinn and it seems like almost all the children's history focuses on a great individual or a singular event. So I thi ...more
Dec 02, 2013 Bethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nerdlution day 1. I am a big fan of Sophie Blackall's illuatrations, I like her animal drawings best. These have a 3D like quality with some shading, they seem to jump off page. Her technique is explained in the back: drawings cut out, layered, then photographed. The illustrations present a whimsical view of Paris and the sport of boxing from 100 years ago. An author's note explains the history behind the book, I wish Lalouche had been a real person. I also wish the final illustration showed the ...more
Sarah Foote
The Mighty Lalouche is unlike most picture books analyzes so far, this one is history and more mature. A mailman, Lalouche, loses his job, becomes a great boxer, though smaller than the rest he is fast, nimble and strong. He soon learns that he misses being a mailman and it is more important to him. Thankfully he gets his job back and a room with a view that he always wanted. The words stood out and were too appealing to not read. Usually I view the illustrations first to see if it portrays the ...more
Melanie Sparks
As I read this adorable book, I gained many things. I experienced a history lesson, I learned new words from a foreign language, I learned about an unfamiliar culture, and last but not least, exposed to vital life lessons that are often over looked. While reading The Mighty Lalouche, my group and I learned that in twentieth century France, boxing was a popular sport, where the under dog could often be more successful than the mightiest of men. We also learned many new French words, which was por ...more
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Posted on Get Kids to Read: http://www.mrtierneyslibrary

Olshan, Matthew, and Sophie Blackall. The Mighty Lalouche. New York: Schwartz & Wade, 2013. Print.

Olshan has imagined a Paris 150 years ago where a little post man could become a boxing sensation. Lalouche is a postman who gets sacked as they are replacing walking postmen with a few in electric cars. But he is nimble, quick and fast. He has the skills to succeed as a boxing sparring partner.
Sophie Blackhall is the illustrator and has d
Emily Petering
Apr 27, 2016 Emily Petering rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting story about a postman/boxer Lalouche. The author follows Lalouche from his transition from postman to scrawny but powerful boxer then back to a postman. The illustrations are incredible and definitely add to the story. The illustrator used a unique style of almost 3D paper art, but also sketches. It was different than other children's books, so I definitely think that it would stick out to students.

I would use this book in a classroom. It would be great for biography
Whitney Scott
Mar 29, 2016 Whitney Scott rated it liked it
This is the true story of Lalouche, a mailman in France who lived a simple life and loved it. When he lost his job at the post office, he was very upset and didn't know what to do. He ended up becoming a boxer in order to support himself and his pet finch, and to everyone's surprise, he was good at it. Despite his small, scrawny stature, he was nimble enough, fast enough, and strong enough to defeat all other boxers. But he always missed his job as a post man.

This was an odd book. I really like
Jun 21, 2013 Stacy268 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Writing and illustrations worked well together. The kids loved it as a read aloud as well. Caldecott? Buzz, buzz!
I will admit that I picked this one up for me because I was amused by the pictures. I'm not sure my son understood everything that was going on in the book, but he liked it too. Lalouche is a French postman in the 1890s who is fired from his job after his walking route is replaced by an electric car. He is devastated, and is about to give up when he sees a flyer for a kickboxing sparring partner and decides that this will be the perfect way to support himself and his pet finch Genevieve. Will th ...more
Great illustrations and fun historical information, but I was disappointed to learn that Lalouche wasn't a real person.
Dec 13, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
LOVE! The polite postman, S'il vous plait, turned boxer. Can't wait to read this to some older groups of children.
Sep 14, 2014 Tina rated it really liked it
Reading Level: Primary & Intermediate
Genre: Picture Book, Fantasy
Review: This is a delightful book about a fictitious French boxer, Lalouche, who is remarkably small, yet swift and strong. The first thing I noticed about this book was the unique artwork--cutouts that are photographed to create a shadow effect. The book has a lot of detail in the artwork that an older child may enjoy. Additionally, I believe children who are on the smaller side would enjoy seeing this character overcome his o
May 29, 2013 Jec rated it really liked it
touching favorite illustrator....perfect combination
Mar 30, 2016 Alyssa rated it it was ok
The Mighty Lalouche is the typical David and Goliath story. A post-man gets laid off from his job and decides to try boxing in Paris in the late 1800's. He is very small, but ends up defeating every single one of his opponents.
This books was really cute, and i love the fact that it includes french words in it with a glossary to show what each phrase means in English. I did try to read it out loud and pretty much butchered all of them and so I probably would not read this book out loud to my cla
The mightly Lalouche is a modest man whose vanities and dreams are relatively small, a virtue that is rewarded. The Mighty Lalouche is a quiet story whose elegance could easily be overlooked by its own modest presentation–of story, anyway. Mathew Olshan creates a disarming character in Lalouche and historical Paris. Disarming, too, is Sophie Blackall’s illustrations. Like Olshan’s story, her images would invite the reader into the remarkable man’s life and times. (my favorite scene, left page, h ...more
Mar 20, 2015 Tracey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, 2015
picture book for older readers/readers with longer attention spans. I read this one today to a class of 4th graders and again to a class of 6th graders and both groups of kids seemed to enjoy it (one kid REALLY enjoyed it). It is a different story that doesn't seem too babyish, and interesting enough to keep an adult's attention. I did have to apologize for mispronouncing the french words (I keep trying to read impossible! in Spanish) but the kids never mind.
Brittany Tatum
Apr 30, 2014 Brittany Tatum rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-caldecott
The Mighty Lalouche is about a postman who loses his job because the postal service is replacing all of the workers with machines. So, the postman becomes a fighter. At first he is underestimated because of his small size but he manages to stay undefeated. As his fame grows, he longs to go back go his old job and he does just that when he is offered his old job back because the machines didn't work out.

I enjoyed this story, mainly because of the illustrations. The full spread illustrations we
Marjorie Ingall
Feb 15, 2014 Marjorie Ingall rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-4-8, kids-6-10
Weird as all get out, and also funny and a bit melancholy. I like weird. Sophie Blackall's illustrations are always wonderful. But I was bummed that this was fiction (set against a backdrop of actual offbeat boxing/vehicular history, but fiction nonetheless): I wanted Lalouche to be real! And somehow the fact that it's not TRUE makes it feel slight. I'm not sure why.

But it's lovely. Really.

(I'm meandering today. I've been up since 5 am.)
Nov 23, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Charming, funny, and delightful. I loved the paper-on-paper illustrations. The shadows mad everything look as if you could reach out and touch it. The colors were whimsical and inviting. Our hero is the best sort of underdog, who does not vainly bask in his fame, but instead always remembers where his heart truly lies. He enjoys life's simple pleasures.

"The Mighty Lalouche" is a new favorite that I know I will be reaching for again and again.
Lalouche was a fictional (I clarify this because it reads like a biography) postman who lived many years ago in France. He loved walking around his neighborhood along the Seine, delivering mail. His little apartment, unfortunately, did NOT have a view of the river. Alas, one day he lost his job because the postal service bought a fleet of electric autocars. In order to survive, Lalouche became a sparring partner for the Bastille Boxing Club. Everyone laughed at his puny size, but he surprised th ...more
After being laid off at the post office, a postman makes a drastic career change and takes up boxing in early 1900s Paris, France. He's an unlikely champ, but he bests boxers much bigger and physically stronger than him by being nimble and quick.

Artwork was rendered in Chinese ink and watercolor, cut out, arranged in layers, and photographed.

An author's note follows the story and provides background on boxing in France during the early 1900s as well as electric cars utilized by the post office.
The Brothers
Feb 08, 2016 The Brothers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boxing, france, mailmen, paris
A small - but wiry, strong, and nimble - postman in France loses his job. In search of money to maintain his residence so he'll have somewhere to keep his beloved finch, he answers an add for a sparring partner for boxer. At first the gym manager laughs at him, but Lalouche soons proves his worth and goes on to become a fighter in his own right. But he's heart is still in being a postman and when he is offered his old job, he takes it up again gladly.

Great, fun, unique illustrations.
Jan 22, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it
Reviewed for Mock Caldecott Awards. A wonderful story about a mailman in Paris who lost his job and became a boxer. He was small and many made fun of him but he persevered and won out over his opponents. I loved the pictures in this book which looked layered.
Alexandria Hiam
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. Includes author's note.

Great illustrations, humorous picture book
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. Includes author's note.

Great illustrations, humorous picture book
Stephanie Tournas
Mar 12, 2014 Stephanie Tournas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Hard to describe why this quirky story tickled me so much - the unassuming hero? - the hilarious caricatures of boxers? - the salty sprinkling of French? I won't read it at my preschool story times, but I will recommend it to all my friends.
Mar 21, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
Nice sophisticated language with somewhat supportive and whimsical illustrations. Petite Lalouche becomes an unlikely boxing sensation but leaves the spotlight to return to his passion--being a postman.
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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
More about Matthew Olshan...

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