I decided to select one book this week for originality in illustration and writing – The Mighty Lalouche. The book is written by Matthew Olshan and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. It tells the story of a postman named Lalouche who loves working as a postman. Unfortunately, one day his boss tells him they are going to have to let him go. Lalouche is devastated, because he loved his job. However, he has to figure out how to make money. He sees a boxing poster advertising the need for people with all the abilities he possesses (he is fast, nimble, and strong). He decides to try his hand at boxing (even though he is very small and thin). He ends up beating some of the biggest and strongest boxers. However, in spite of all his boxing trophies, he misses his old job. Eventually he receives a call from his old boss and he gets his job back as a postman. Once more, Lalouche is happy and feels fulfilled.
Summary – The book tells the story of the a young boy named Lewis Michaux Jr. and his father, Lewis Michaux Sr. Lewis Michaux Sr. is the owner of the National Memorial African Bookstore. It is a bookstore that he worked hard to make a reality. He started the bookstore in order to get black people to read and talk about things that mattered; however, the bookstore was open to anyone and everyone. Lewis Michaux Sr. wanted to create a space where different people could come together and learn. The bookstore became a place where people from all walks of life came, including celebrities like Muhammad Ali and Malcom X. It is a beautiful story about a father who is passionate about books and about sharing his passion with others. He encourages his son to read, learn, and to ask questions. The story is more touching because it is told from the son’s perspective – the love and respect he has for his father is beautiful.