Madame LaGrande and Her So High, to the Sky, Uproarious Pompadour

Madame LaGrande and Her So High, to the Sky, Uproarious Pompadour

by Candace Fleming, Steven D. Schindler
     
 

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Pompadours have become the rage in Paris, and Madame LaGrande wants to get one in time for the upcoming opera season.  But since neither she nor her stylist know when to say "Enough!", her outrageous coif winds up housing two pigeons, three cats, four dogs, and the King--all without Madame L. knowing it! In the grand tradition of The Emperor'sSee more details below

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Overview

Pompadours have become the rage in Paris, and Madame LaGrande wants to get one in time for the upcoming opera season.  But since neither she nor her stylist know when to say "Enough!", her outrageous coif winds up housing two pigeons, three cats, four dogs, and the King--all without Madame L. knowing it! In the grand tradition of The Emperor's New Clothes, this uproarious story of exaggerated vanity will have kids laughing so hard it will curl their hair!  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A fashion victim in pre-Revolutionary France, Madame LaGrande causes an uproar in Paris with her behemoth of a hairstyle. When an enterprising hairdresser decorates Madame's dizzyingly tall pompadour with bunches of grapes, the grapes attract pigeons, which in turn attract cats, and so on. Arriving at the opera, our heroine, delighted with the attention she is garnering while ignorant of its real cause, parades by the royal box and her pompadour cum menagerie literally sweeps the affronted king off his feet. While the text is longwinded and leaden in places, Schindler's (The Ghost of Nicholas Greebe, reviewed below) drawings, reminiscent of 18th-century editorial cartoons, establish the perfect mock-serious tone for the tale and launch it into heights of comic absurdity. His stellar efforts grant Madame LaGrande her comic dignity, even as birds, cats, dogs and king cling precariously to her towering tresses. Ages 3-8. (June)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3In this hilarious story set in 19th-century Paris, Madame La Grande tries hard to be stylish, but, nevertheless, has the "fashion sense of a mule." She reads about pompadours, the newest craze, and visits Marcel's House of Hair Design for a "spectacular, magnificent" hairdo. Marcel curls and shapes, powders and pads Madame's hair in a very funny vertical double-page spread. But, as she journeys to the opera that night, the towering triumph of design (bedecked with bows, beads, and bunches of grapes) attracts two pigeons, three cats, and four poodles. The ensuing commotion stops the opera, the pompadour entraps the king, and all explode in a "breathtaking display" of springs, wires, and pillows. In the end, Madame La Grande turns her attention to hoop skirts. This tale has a nonstop action and a vigorous text with a rich vocabulary, frequent alliteration, and occasional French expressions. The cartoonlike illustrations are a perfect match for the slapstick humor. The bright full-color drawings are packed with period details: architecture, carriages, costumes, and, of course, hair styles. Nearly all of the pictures are double-page spreads and their composition creates visual drama. With a lighter line and broader humor, this book is similar to Deborah Nourse Lattimore's The Lady with the Ship on Her Head (Harcourt, 1990) and will amuse young readers, trs chic or not.Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA
Kay Weisman
Fleming elevates the concept of bad hair days to new heights in this uproarious picture book detailing the perils of a woman who persists in being a slave to fashion. When Madame LaGrande discovers pompadours are in vogue, she rushes straight to Marcel's House of Hair Design to request her very own high-style coiffure. Several hours later she emerges: primped, powdered, and festooned with ribbons and grapes. En route to a performance of Wagner's "Tannhx8a user", her tresses attract two pigeons, three pussycats, four poodles, and the king's monocle. Blithely unaware of the ruckus she has created, she adjusts one tiny hairpin, causing her entire hairdo to explode, spewing debris all over the opera house. Schindler's fanciful illustrations match the delightful silliness of the text. A perfect story hour companion for any version of Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes"; or, pair with Milstein's "Amanda's Perfect Hair" (1993) for a modern contrast.
Kirkus Reviews
Madame LaGrande is fashion's latest slave in pre-Revolutionary Paris. When she hears about the new pompadour style, she rushes out to get herself the biggest and best to flaunt at the opera that night. Her ceiling-scraping monstrosity soon attracts pigeons, cats, poodles, and even the King himself in a suitably histrionic finale at the Grand Opera. While the colors are sometimes dull, the comic, almost Seussian style of illustration is perfectly suited to the atmosphere. So is Fleming's tendency toward over-alliteration, as in "Three calico cats crouching on a window ledge saw the two plump pigeons pecking in Madame's pompadour." The story's length, theme, and complexity may not recommend it to younger readers, but it will reward those school-age children just beginning to struggle to keep up with the latest fads.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679858355
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
06/06/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.84(w) x 10.81(h) x 0.33(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

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