The Mighty Lalouche
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The Mighty Lalouche

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  421 ratings  ·  96 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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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
Angela
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...more
Tasha
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
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
Bethe
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
Stacy268
Loved it. Writing and illustrations worked well together. The kids loved it as a read aloud as well. Caldecott? Buzz, buzz!
Donalyn
Great illustrations and fun historical information, but I was disappointed to learn that Lalouche wasn't a real person.
Heather
LOVE! The polite postman, S'il vous plait, turned boxer. Can't wait to read this to some older groups of children.
Jec
touching story....my favorite illustrator....perfect combination
Leslie
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
Brittany Tatum
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...more
Marjorie Ingall
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.)
Holly
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
Samantha
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....more
Stephanie Tournas
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.
Jean-Marie
I read this aloud to my 6 year old, and he loved it. I fit this book in right before lunch, so he was little jiggly and distracted. One page in, though, he found a place on my lap and was completely captivated by the story and illustrations. I have no doubt that my faux French accent helped too. ;-) This is a fun read for all!
Rachel
A children's book that tells two important stories: 1. Don't underestimate anyone, and 2. Doing what makes you happy is better than fame and fortune. Beautiful illustrations as well as a brief overview of the true history behind the book.
Gianna Mosser
This very well may be the only book about boxing that I would ever approve for children. But Lalouche is benevolent, and he is lucky. And the Parisian setting doesn't hurt any.
Cat Fithian
Mailman turns boxer, wins, misses mail. It is cute but it didn't move me much. Mention is made of Genevieve, his pet finch, but she is insignificant in the illustrations, and that kinda bugs me.
Dolly
Apr 09, 2014 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This book offers a humorous and often tongue-in-cheek look at French boxing and life in France over 100 years ago. The narrative is quite silly in places, but we loved that it was based on historical events.

I absolutely loved the word play and was thrilled that our girls understood most of it, but it will likely go over the heads of younger children.

The author's note at the end of the story was very helpful in explaining the actual historical context of the story and the origins of some of the...more
Mrs. Knott
Good, beginning historical fiction for young readers. Lalouche is a postman who had a passion for his job and for his finch. But after losing his job (to an auto car) he must find a new profession. And with his strength and agility, Lalouche finds work in boxing! Young readers will enjoy seeing the tiny Lalouche work hard and do well in all that he takes on. I enjoyed the author's note giving information about the history in which the book takes place.
Nancy
One hundred and a few odd years ago, a mild mannered postman lived in Paris with his pet bird. He was a humble man who didn't complain about his life. He lived in a tiny apartment with no windows. Everyday he would deliver the mail and then go home to his tiny home. When his boss showed him a new contraption called an electric autocar that would deliver the mail much faster. Now Lalouche was out of a job and in fear of losing his tiny apartment. When he saw a poster recruiting boxers, he decided...more
Meredith
Put together the post office, boxing, French phrases, and an underdog story, and you have this charmer. J'ADORE the names given to Lalouche's opponents: Ampere, the Piston, the Pointillist, the Misanthrope. And the paper cutout watercolor art is lovely.


Brainpickings.org has samples of old-timey photographs that Blackall used for inspiration.
ANg
This is a wonderfully illustrated book, of a time gone by. Its about a postman who gets fired and becomes "The Mighty Lalouche" a prized fighter, but all he really wants to be is a postman, live in a little apartment with his little finch named Genevieve and have a view outside his window and deliver mail. This little book gave me insight to a little bit of history when at one time Paris had spaceship looking cars that were supposed to making delivery of mail faster. This book grabbed my heart....more
jessica
Loved this book so much. The storytelling and illustration were great.
Beth
Great fun. Can't wait to read it aloud with accents.
Becky
"Matthew wrote The Mighty Lalouche specifically for Sophie Blackall to illustrate, after he learned that she collected old pictures of boxers, especially extremely skinny ones with big billowing boxing trunks." Hee! The Paris setting and French phrases are nicely done here in this story of a little postman turned boxing hero. Includes an Author's Note about La boxe francaise.

"The illustrations in this book were made with Chinese ink and watercolor on Arches hot press paper. They were cut out, a...more
Megan
The illustrations in this book make it great! The Mighty LaLouche is a mailman who loses his job in Paris at the turn of the century. His job is lost because the post office just bought a fleet of automobiles. He must find work and becomes a fighter. His small size surprises his opponents and he turns out to be more agile than the bigger men he fights. In the end, he once again becomes a postal worker (the cars didn't work out so well) and all is well for LaLouche.
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546197
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
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