Palisadian Jackie Clark Mancuso Pens Third Paris-Chien Adventure Children’s Book
Hudson, the beloved Norwich terrier living in Paris, is back for another aventure Français—this time with a new friend. Written and illustrated by Palisadian artist Jackie Clark Mancuso and edited and published by her husband Stephen Ujlaki, professor at Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television, “Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris” is a canine caper of the highest caliber; a wagging, whimsical whirlwind that will have you paws-itively howling as the doggy duo traverse the City of Lights via Vespa, train and bateau mouche.
The book is part of the ongoing “Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Expat Dog” series (published by La Librairie Parisienne), which follows Hudson on his voyages across France, from the aromatic Marché d’Aligre of the original “Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Expat Dog” to the truffle-studded foothills and lavender fields of Mont Ventoux in the second installment: “Hudson in Provence.”“I was always drawn to children’s books set in other countries,” Mancuso told the Palisadian-Post in a recent interview. “It was more out of a love for traveling than a love for dogs—though I do love dogs.”
Mancuso’s gouache illustrations make the streets, parks and markets of her pages pop with life and her implacable puppy protagonists, with their loyal souls and contagious joie de vivre, are impossible not to love. The series also touches on some autobiographical elements of Mancuso’s own experiences living in Paris.
“Because I wasn’t having great success with making friends when I originally lived in Paris, I spent a lot of time sketching in the Jardin du Luxembourg, which had an alley for dogs,” she explained. “I made friends with a lot of the dog owners.”Her dog drawings would become the groundwork for the first “Paris-Chien” book, which sold 12,000 copies and is currently in its fourth printing—a massive feat for a small, indie-published children’s book. “Hudson in Provence” was ordered en masse by retailer Anthropologie for sale at stores across the country, and “Lost in Paris” has sold a 6,000 copies to date.
Before becoming author and illustrator of the popular series, Mancuso worked as an art director in New York and the Bay Area. When she is not working on the “Paris-Chien” series, she sells her paintings (including custom dog portraits), and works in book design, graphic design and magazine publication.
“We’re definitely going to do more [books],” Mancuso said. “Right now, we’re being encouraged by our publisher to do board books, though we don’t have a set publication plan. We’ve talked about whether or not Hudson should go to other countries—the gimmick now is he’s become a complete Parisian, but maybe he goes to Sweden or Portugal in another project.”
“Lost in Paris” follows Hudson on his daily routine around the city as he picks up his baguette from the boulangerie and catches a film at the Cinéma la Pagode. While riding the métro, he gets the feeling that he’s being followed. Later, while taking a spin on the Dodo Menège in le Jardin des Plantes, he crosses paths with his peculiar puppy pursuer—a nameless little dachshund searching for his home.Hudson takes his new friend around the city, from the cobbled walks of Montmartre to the bustling shops of Porte Saint-Denis, in search of a place for him to stay. But when Hudson realizes the puppy never had a home to begin with, he invites him to stay with him and his family in their chic 7th arrondissement apartment.
Hudson even gives his pal a collar with an engraved name tag and a new name: Pierre.
“I go to Paris a couple of times a year and I see a lot of homeless people and refugees living on the street who need help, and I wanted to address that in this book in a way that’s safe for children,” Mancuso said. “Pierre was introduced in this book and I think I’ll keep him going forward.”Mancuso’s “Paris-Chien” books are a rare breed indeed: something that children and adults can both love and appreciate equally. Her rich, swirling illustrations adorn the pages, recalling les Fauves like Matisse and Derain with some modern twists of Hockney. Each one, like the city they depict, is a “moveable feast” on which the eye may linger.
Her books even include basic French vocabulary (along with a dictionary in the appendix) and the names of famous places Hudson visits along his journey—the perfect way for burgeoning Francophiles to discover the music of the French language. Best of all, Hudson is based on Mancuso’s own 9-year old terrier of the same name. When he’s not strolling the streets of Paris, kids can catch him on a walk around the Palisades.
For more information, visit: www.jackiemancuso.com