Review of The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau
by Jon Agee; illus. by the author
Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g
2/21    978-0-593-11265-6    $17.99

In Agee’s 1988 picture book, a Horn Book Fanfare title, everyone at the Grand Contest of Art hates the title character’s painting — a simply drawn duck in a pastel palette, more typical of Agee’s style (Milo’s Hat Trick, rev. 5/01; Terrific, rev. 11/05) than the shadowy, more complex illustrations of much of the rest of the book. But then that duck waddles out of the frame, and suddenly everyone wants a Clousseau. More paintings dispatch more creatures into the real world, and Clousseau falls in and out of favor depending on their antics. The humorous story with its understated delivery should keep readers guessing and making predictions, up until the perfect surprise ending.

From the March/April 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees.

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