Parents' Guide to

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Gorgeous, clever account of bold con artist's life.

Book Greg Pizzoli History 2015
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A con artist seems an odd subject for a picture book, but author-illustrator Greg Pizzoli artfully weaves a fascinating story of a bold criminal who took every advantage of the times he lived in. Pizzoli's artwork makes TRICKY VIC: THE MAN WHO SOLD THE EIFFEL TOWER a marvel. He uses a modern, muted palette and mixes in stamps, photographs, pencil, ink, and more. Victor Lustig, known by 45 aliases over his life, is depicted using the only constant thing about him: He's a fingerprint, sporting a bowler hat. The mark who took the bait in his tower scheme, André Poisson, is depicted with a fish for a head.

Pizzoli smartly intertwines Lustig's criminal escapades with historical benchmarks such as the World Fair, Prohibition, and the heyday of transatlantic ocean travel. There's a fair amount of history in the main text, with sidebars offering more background detail. A sure hit for pranksters and history buffs.

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