Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Mighty Lalouche” as Want to Read:
The Mighty Lalouche
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Mighty Lalouche

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  798 ratings  ·  137 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 gi ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Schwartz & Wade
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mighty Lalouche, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Mighty Lalouche

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  798 ratings  ·  137 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Mar 28, 2013 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
Apr 02, 2013 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
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
Jim Erekson
Jan 26, 2014 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 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
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddos
This was a great little piece of historical fiction in a palatable picture-book length. The illustrations are beautiful and the story has the perfect amount of bravado and whimsy. I can't wait to see what else this author has written.
Jun 21, 2013 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!
Dec 13, 2013 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.
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
touching favorite illustrator....perfect combination
Great illustrations and fun historical information, but I was disappointed to learn that Lalouche wasn't a real person.
Amy Layton
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
With beautiful dusty colors and an action-oriented narrative, The Mighty Lalouche pops apart from the rest.  As Lalouche struggles to make money after losing his job, he finally seeks a way of making a paycheck--though it isn't necessarily his calling.  But if fighting will help keep a roof over his head, he's a willing participant.  Filled with atmosphere and lovely French scenery, this book is sure to capture the interest of all who look upon it.  Great for grades 2-4.

Review cross-listed here!
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
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
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
Hannah Banowsky
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic story about a mail man who losses his job and decides to become a wrestler. To his, and everyone else, hes really good! His years of being a postal man trained to be a great fighter. He won great fights against the best wrestlers. But yet, something was not quite right still. He missed being a postal man. Seeing all the faces of great people and bringing joy to many, he missed his old job. Then, one day his boss called him offering his job back. With joy, Lalouche accepts and ...more
Laura (Book Scrounger)
I might have rated this higher, but I just don't care at all for boxing and don't take much pleasure in reading to children about it -- not that it's overtly violent here, but we still see a sleeper hold, "stomping," and various trash talk (this is a strange and different form of boxing, as noted at the end).

Otherwise though, the illustrations are quite well done. It's a rather unusual historical fiction story about a former postman who takes up boxing in order to survive financially, despite b
Brittany Tatum
Feb 20, 2014 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
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.
Holly Mueller
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
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
Whitney Scott
Mar 29, 2016 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
Emily Petering
Apr 27, 2016 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
Brielle McKenna
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rdng350
The Mighty Lalouche was an awesome read!! A Mailman who recently loses his job wants to become a wrestler. After being told he couldn't succeed because he was "too small" he rose to the challenge and became one of the best wrestlers around! When he was offered his job back as a mailman, he remembered how much he loved what he did and gave up the fame!

I would recommend this book to any age. Although it was an easy read, the story is one to remember. The nonfiction story would satisfy any reader.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mock-caldecott
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. has samples of old-timey photographs that Blackall used for inspiration.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Seldom if ever have I found a book as much fun to read aloud as this one. From the very endpapers, it draws young readers in with the promise of boxing matches with an eclectic array of formidable opponents, Laluche’s own scrawny form doll-sized by comparison. Olshan describes Laluche’s strengths as a postman, foreshadowing each of his eventual (hilarious) victories in the ring. One opponent gets literally tied into knots- quite a feat for Sophie Blackall. His canary, Genevieve, adds just the ri ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
"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
Alyssa Durant
Mar 30, 2016 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
Faith Bailey
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rdng-350
A young postman becomes a French fighter whenever he loses is job. He faces many trials, fears and successes. In the end, he discovers what he really wants in life.
I loved this book and the message in it. He is small, but he is determined. Lalouche is humble, despite his success. There are many morals to be learned in this book.
I would use this as a read aloud or when discussing perseverance, humility, being true to yourself, and doing your best in everything you do.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Papa's Mechanical Fish
  • The Matchbox Diary
  • Building Our House
  • Take Me Out to the Yakyu
  • Flood
  • Crankee Doodle
  • Stardines Swim High Across the Sky: and Other Poems
  • What Floats in a Moat?
  • Inside Outside
  • Niño Wrestles the World
  • The Beatles Were Fab  (and They Were Funny)
  • Please Bring Balloons
  • Lucky Ducklings
  • Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball
  • Nora's Chicks
  • Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom
  • Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton
  • This Is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration
See similar books…
I tend to think about stories in terms of the energy they release.

Some stories are a long slow burn of pathos; others flash before your eyes in a burst of delirium or delight. Still others seem to detonate inside of you, clearing the way for a new understanding.

A few exceedingly rare stories somehow manage to catalyze all of these reactions. Those are the most mysterious of all.

As a reader, I’m i