Book of the Week

Remy & Lulu

Remy and Lulu


Kevin Hawkes
with miniatures by Hannah E. Harrison
Alfred A. Knopf




Lulu, the dog, lived in a studio with a great portrait painter on the Rue de Rivoli until it was sold. She was starving and wandering the streets when she found a struggling painter named Remy. He uses large canvases and bold colors straight from the tube to paint portraits. “I paint the essence of a person, not their likeness. My eyesight is not good, but my vision is clear!” They do not have enough food because not enough people will pay for Remy’s essence. So Lulu starts working at the bottom of Remy’s paintings. She embellishes the likeness of Madame’s pig much to Madame’s delight and amazement. Word spreads quickly. They are kept very busy painting the portraits of special people and their animals. Now they have plenty of food to eat and exclusive parties to attend. Remy proclaims, “When you follow your heart, success will follow YOU!

After Remy wins the gold medal at the Salon, the doctor presents him with a gift – a new pair of spectacles. Suddenly, Remy sees details clearly and realizes it is Lulu’s miniature portrait at the bottom of the painting which has really won the award. Remy does not feel like painting anymore, but he agrees to do one last painting for Madame. This time he gives Lulu her own small canvas and supplies. However, Remy finds he can’t paint with his new spectacles. Lulu finds she can’t paint without Remy’s exuberant style next to her. When Lulu lays Remy’s old glasses at his feet, they paint their finest portraits and Madame insists they must display them in her gallery.

A Junior Library Guild Selection, this remarkable picture book ingenuously introduces children to different genres of portrait art within a charismatic story. Author Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of the title’s abstract artwork, while Illustrator Hannah Harrison is the artist of the detailed miniatures. This title is recommended for ages 5 years and up.


Kristi Halberg

Education Resource Center

University of Delaware