Michael le Souffle and the April Fool

Overview

Which came first, the chicken, the bacon and eggs, or Michael Le Soufflï , the rooster whose crowing laugh disturbs the mayor and disrupts the calendar?

Michael Le Soufflï is a prankster who decides he wants to get the grumpy pig, Mayor Melon de Plume of the French town Bakonneggs, to laugh. Michael's laughter comes floating through the messy mayor's window early every morning, so Melon decides to make it against the law to laugh. When that doesn't work, he outlaws cleanliness. ...

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Overview

Which came first, the chicken, the bacon and eggs, or Michael Le Soufflï , the rooster whose crowing laugh disturbs the mayor and disrupts the calendar?

Michael Le Soufflï is a prankster who decides he wants to get the grumpy pig, Mayor Melon de Plume of the French town Bakonneggs, to laugh. Michael's laughter comes floating through the messy mayor's window early every morning, so Melon decides to make it against the law to laugh. When that doesn't work, he outlaws cleanliness. When that doesn't work, he outlaws feathers. But then the joke's on Michael when a rooster posts a new law, signed by the king, that will change the town and the mayor's behavior forever, creating a celebration that gives everyone the chance to play the fool. Populated by a menagerie of animals and creatures real and imagined, including a crafty crew of gargoyles, Michael Le Soufflï and the April Fool is sure to keep readers young and old coming back to discover new jokes on every page.
Praise for Andrew McGroundhog and His Shady Shadow

"Full of visual and literal humor."
—School Library Journal

"A thoroughly entertaining and highly recommended addition to any personal, school, or community library picture book collection for young readers."
—Children's Bookwatch

Praise for Shawn O'Hisser, the Last Snake in Ireland

"The qualities that make reading the books of Dr. Seuss a pleasure for both children and adults are in full flight in Mr. Welling's book. [It is] a pleasure to look at as well as read."
—Elizabeth Burton, Blue Iris Reviews

"Great for St. Patrick's Day read-alouds in class or at home."
—"Kid's Home Library," Copley News Service

Peter J. Welling has enjoyed writing and drawing for as long as he can remember. As he punnily puts it: "I am a drawer. Now I hear I might be a renderer. Renderer might be better, though, because my brother said drawers go in bureaus."
Mr. Welling is the art director for Futures magazine. He is also a father of four and grandfather of three who volunteers at his youngest son's school, which provided the inspiration to begin writing books when the lunch bags he illustrated for his youngest son, with cartoons from history, were very popular with other students, parents, and teachers. He twice won the Parent Volunteer of the Year Award and is an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. To learn more about Peter Welling, visit his Web site at www.peterjwelling.com.

In the small town of Bakonneggs, France, the grumpy mayor, a pig named Melon de Plume, and a happy red rooster, Michael le Soufflâe, battle wits until they learn to enjoy April Fools' Day together. Includes glossary of French vocabulary.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Welling (Shawn O'Hisser, the Last Snake in Ireland) creates a wordy slapstick comedy from an unfamiliar historical premise: with the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1564, the French king (here portrayed as a rooster) proclaimed the start of the new year as January 1 instead of April 1, when it was formerly celebrated. Those who didn't get with the program were taunted as "Poisson d'Avril" or April Fish-the progenitor of today's April Fool. Welling recasts this turn of events as a battle of wits between a regular citizen, prankster rooster Michael Le Souffle, and a pigheaded (literally) mayor named Melon de Plume, sporting medieval garb. When Mayor Melon catches a rooster posting a notice of the calendar change, he begins hurling fish at him from the closest peddler's cart, crying "Your silly jokes have gone too far." But the rooster turns out to be not Michael but the King of France. A caricature of the porcine fellow being pelted with blue and olive-drab fish reveals the punishment decreed by the king. The watercolor-and-ink illustrations bubble with a goofy spontaneity, groan-worthy puns (a sign on a tree reads "Paris fish are in Seine!"), an anachronism or two (a poster of the "Tour de France," begun in 1903, hangs in the mayor's office) and French words (a glossary concludes the book). Unfortunately, Melon's embrace of April 1 comes out of nowhere and the narrative feels labored. Ages 5-8. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589801059
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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