"I can't believe it. Me. Max Stravinsky in Paris. Picasso. Paté. The opera. Ballet. The crème de la crème. The city that gleams. That romantic, extravagantic city of dreams. Oh pluperfect Paris, just give me a chance and I'll toast your beauty, oh Paris of France." So begins Maira Kalman's boldly painted, wildly designed, linguistically playful masterpiece Ooh-la-la (Max in Love), the story of a millionaire poet dog named Max who has come to Paris from New York and is staying at a hotel run by the aromatic Madame Camembert.
Moodily meandering, he wanders through the Parisian parks and boulevards with a hangdog expression on his face. After all, c'est Paris in the spring, and love is in the air for everyone it seems, except Max. Along the way he meets an outlandish cast of characters including Fritz from the Ritz (where he quit in a snit when the chef in a fit threw escargot on his chapeau); his French tutor Charlotte Russe (who came by autobus); and Pierre Potpourri, the owner of the noise-soaked, blue-smoked Crazy Wolf Nightclub, where Max finally encounters the piano-playing Crêpes Suzette, the dog he's been waiting for his whole life. The rest is history!
This is one of our favorite picture books of all time ... and for those who are equally mad for Max the poet dog, we can also recommend the hilarious and quirky Max Makes a Million, Max in Hollywood, Baby, and Swami on Rye: Max in India. (All ages, but perhaps especially for adults with stars in their eyes or Paris in their hearts.) --Karin Snelson [via]