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The Mighty Lalouche

Last updated Friday, June 1, 2018

Author: Matthew Olshan
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 0375862250
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2018

Synopsis: Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Sophie Blackall brings to life this marvelous story, which is full of humor and heart. 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.

Note to readers:
•  You might want to do a picture walk. The illustrations are great.
•  There are French to English translations of the phrases LaLouche uses opposite the page.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Explain where Paris, France is. If there is a globe in the classroom, point it out on there.
•  Read the "Author's Note" on the back of the book that explains "French Boxing".


•  Nimble: quick and light in movement.
•  Boxing: fighting with fists in padded gloves in a square roped ring.
•  Anaconda: large snake that is native to South America.
•  Misanthrope: a person who dislikes people and avoids them.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What kind of sports do you participate in?
•  Read and discuss the "trading cards" of the different boxers illustrated on the inside cover.

Craft ideas:
•  Make a "trading card" of yourself for your favorite sport.
•  Make a Father's day card for a father figure or family friend.
•  Make a graduation card if you know someone who is graduating.
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!