If you are a Harry Potter fan, you may remember those portraits on the wall that came to life. Before the “Fat Lady” was grudgingly opens the door to Gryffindor Tower, Jon Agee had created living portraits in his children’s book – The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau.
When Felix, an unknown French painter, enters his painting of a duck in the “Grand Contest of Art,” others ridicule his simplicity – until the duck quacks – earning Clousseau the grand prize. With illustrations that are reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s style, Agee continues the incredible story with a boa constrictor that slithers out of the frame and a cannon that fires out of the picture – until the poor artist is sent to jail and all his pictures confiscated.
The one portrait of a dog still hanging in the royal palace wakes up one night to catch a thief trying to steal the crown. Clousseau is exonerated and awarded the Medal of Honor. The last page may be the best – with the old painter walking into the frame.
Children’s author Kristin Cashore listed The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau as a book with a “perfect ending.” I agree; have you read it?