The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau
Jon Agee
Scallywag Press

In Paris, The Royal Palace is holding its Grand Contest of Art. All the famous painters are showing: there’s Gaston du Stroganoff with his The King on His Throne, Felicia Caffay Ollay with The King on Horseback and Alphonse LeCamembair with The King in Armour. However an unknown painter, Felix Clousseau has the utter temerity to roll up with an entry.

Having been scorned by the judges for its simplistic style (not a king in sight), something truly unexpected and amazing happens. The painting emits a ‘Quack!’

Guess who becomes an immediate sensation? Having been dubbed a ‘genius’, Clousseau’s art is quickly in great demand with the rich. Not so however, the general public for his realism is way too real – disastrously so.

The unfortunate Clousseau is thrown into gaol and his paintings locked safely away – all except one that is. A single image of a dog remains on the wall of the King’s Palace. Now at that time an infamous jewel thief is at work in Paris and when he decides to try his luck with the royal crown, he gets the surprise of his life.

So too does his highness the next morning. He issues a royal pardon and a Medal of Honour to Clousseau who as the final page shows, ‘returned to his own painting’ …

the ambiguity of which will surely delight readers of all ages.

Deliciously droll, this is a reissue of one of Jon Agee’s earlier picture books: it’s certainly stood the test of time and great to see Scallywag republishing it now some thirty years on.

If you’re looking for a book to use as a starting point with an arty theme for a community of enquiry session, this one will definitely fit the bill.

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