LOUIE! by Will Hillenbrand


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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The artistic journey of a porcine Parisian painter. From an early age, Louie has loved to draw and to listen to the fanciful stories of his mother’s piglethood, when she went to school in an old schoolhouse “that was covered in vines.” At school he gets in trouble for drawing while other students dutifully work on their lessons. Desperate, Mother sends Louie to his uncle and aunt, who own a hotel. Despite some missteps, he continues to develop his artwork, and his aunt and uncle introduce him to their friend Vincent, an art dealer. Louie’s career begins in earnest but really takes off when, while recuperating from a bicycle accident, he meets his muse, a little girl recovering from an appendectomy proudly showing off her scar in the next room. Hillenbrand’s not-so-surprise twist: Louie’s human counterpart is Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of Madeline; an interesting biographical note is provided. Hillenbrand’s lovely illustrations, intricately employing multiple media, are full of whimsy. His prose, however, though clearly a heartfelt homage, strains to wrestle Bemelmans’s biography into a playfully childlike story with only limited success. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-24707-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2009


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