cover image The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau

Jon Agee. Farrar Straus Giroux, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-33633-2

Who paints the most fantastic pictures in France? Is it Gaston du Stroganoff? Felicien CaffayOllay? Alphonse LeCamembair? Only when an unknown painter by the name of Clousseau paints a portrait of a duck so realistic that it quacks is the true genius of the Paris art world recognized. Clousseau's paintings have an incredible effect on the publicand no wonderpainted waterfalls flow out of the frames and onto the floor and birds fly off to new horizons. Then a boa constrictor escapes from its painting and frightens a baroness, and a painted cannon levels the building that once housed it. The unfortunate artist is sent to prison and all his artwork is seizedall except the one that hangs in the king's palace, a painting of a dog. When that dog captures a cunning jewel thief, Clousseau earns a royal pardon. Agee's enchanting tale has touches of droll Gaelic humor reminiscent of the stories of Tomi Ungerer. A well-defined drawing style is enhanced by dark, rich colors, thickly and boldly applied. Agee provides much food for the spirit with his spare storytelling and distinctive artwork. Ages 3-up. (September)