Books, History



AUTHOR: Matthew Olshan

ILLUSTRATOR: Sophie Blackall

PUBLICATION INFO: Random House’s Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86225-0

SOURCE:  library


GENRE: picture book biography, historical fiction


From the publisher:

“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 up. And perhaps small Lalouche was just nimble . . . just fast . . . and just strong enough to beat his fierce competitors. This is a marvelous story, full of humor and heart, and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, winner of a New York Times Best Illustrated Award.

THEMES/TOPICS: boxing, history, France

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: The illustrations are the star of the ring in this book. The characters’ expressions are priceless, and the images have a 3D feel, thanks to a Japanese diorama technique Blackall used. In fact, Matthew Olshan wrote the book specifically for Sophie Blackall to illustrate. She collects old pictures of boxers. Learn about how the story came together from Sophie at her blog.


  • The book includes an author’s note about French boxing and early electric cars.
  • A brief history of French boxing can be found here.
  • Information about boxing from PBS Kids.

You’ll find way more cool books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Perfect Picture Books.” Every Friday folks review a host of new books. Join us!

19 thoughts on “PPBF: THE MIGHTY LALOUCHE”

  1. Kirsten, I have to confess I’m not a fan of boxing, but OH. MY. What amazing illustrations. Love the link to Sophie’s site. I must investigate more on the technique. 2 years to complete it! Wow. Thank you for sharing this book with it’s links.

    1. I’m not a big fan either, Laura, but it is an interesting underdog story. He only became a boxer because he lost his job as a mailman. And he went right back to carrying the mail as soon as he could. It was quite fascinating.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s