By Matthew Olshan, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Schwartz & Wade Books, 32 pages, $17.99
The Mighty Lalouche does not start out so mighty. He is a slight man with a famous mustache. Lalouche is a mail carrier in Paris who lives in a small, windowless apartment with his pet finch. When he loses his job to a fleet of electric cars, Lalouche must find a way to earn some money. A poster in town is asking for nimble, fast and strong fighters to box. Lalouche uses his mail carrier skills to beat everyone he goes up against.
In the end though, he finds he is missing something of his own life and takes an opportunity to deliver mail again. But, at the end of the day, he goes home to a lovely apartment filled with windows for he and his bird.
Author Matthew Olshan and illustrator Sophie Blackall worked closely together to create this historically inspired story. Soft colors and a textured, paper-doll-like method of creating images gives the readers a feeling of the old-world Paris the story is set in. Children will take away a feeling of inspiration – recognizing it was Lalouche’s bravery and dedication to his family (bird) that helps him become a winner.
Reviewed by Sophie Sestero