By Jon Agee
In The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau, Jon Agee uses simple and direct text, allowing his lavish art to convey the real action. His illustrations are drenched in rich greens, deep browns and steely grays, contained in strong, solid lines. He uses perspective in extraordinary ways and delivers an amazing, surprising ending.
The Royal Palace in Paris is holding an art contest and painters from all over the city are submitting their work. Felix Clousseau, an unknown artist, has submitted his painting of a duck, a painting that is immediately deemed ridiculous by the judges.
Then the duck—from inside the painting—quacks! Clousseau wins first prize and is hailed a genius! The King commissions an original Clousseau, as do many others.
It seems trouble follows these paintings. Clousseau’s subjects don’t like to be bound by canvas and frames and have a tendency to wander outside their confines.
The snake in the baroness’s painting winds up in her bed! In one collector’s home, a painting of a waterfall and another of a volcano wreak havoc.
The citizens of Paris are outraged and Clousseau is imprisoned. All of his paintings are seized—all, that is, except the one commissioned by the King.
Late one night, a burglar breaks into the palace to steal the King’s crown. The remaining Clousseau painting hangs above the thief’s target and it’s that painting, of a guard dog, that saves the day (and the crown)! Clousseau is a hero.
A free man again, he returns to his studio.