|Victor and Hugo|
Author: Blake, Robert J.
When Maestro's accordion gets stuck in a tire and then rolls into the sewers of Paris, two dogs give chase.
Kirkus Reviews (-) (10/15/16)
School Library Journal (01/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 PreS-Gr 2—Paris's Seine is the backdrop for a street performer and his talented dogs. Victor is a terrier who does backflips within the bicycle basket. Hugo, a hound, balances on a stack of gaily decorated boxes. The Maestro presides at the accordion, but when the animals and musician sound out their names, the instrument echoes their syllables without being played. A merry crowd gathers, to the dismay of an organ grinder, "Grumpy Max," who throws salami to silence the dogs. This sets off a chain reaction in which the instrument and canines fly over the bridge onto a barge, the accordion wedges into a tire, the tire rolls away, and the animals search the sewers for the runaway instrument. Blake's painterly compositions delight the eye. Each page portrays the action in a different light, from the golden glow and strong shadows of early morning to the scene drenched in blue as Victor and Hugo howl their underground melancholy. The narrative is lively, expressive, and slyly humorous. Establishing the mood during the music's absence, the author writes: "Cars wouldn't start, doors wouldn't open, and people wouldn't eat croissants." In a joyous finale, the trio emerge into an ebullient crowd scene featuring cameos of Louis Armstrong, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Marceau, and…Victor Hugo. Dogs with personality, a ruddy musician exuding the magic of a wizard, and shimmering, dappled oils that build up layers of glorious color—the elements combine, convincing readers that music is a cause for celebration. VERDICT A high-energy, exuberant romp through the City of Light. For lovers of art, music, and action-packed adventure.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.