Philippe the Black Sheep

We rated this book:


Philippe, a black sheep, is unhappy with his life. He knows where his future lies–the cookpot–and instead dreams of going away somewhere to become an artist. So Philippe builds a raft and sails away to Mont Saint-Michel, where he gets a job working in a cafe under the watchful eye of a tyrannical cook. Will Philippe ever realize his dream? Will he end up in the cookpot after all?

This picture book by Joan Dupot is, quite frankly, bizarre. With a weird, meandering storyline, readers of all ages (and not just the five- to eight-year-olds who the book is recommended for) will have a hard time keeping track of what is going on in Philippe, the Black Sheep. Philippe gets a job in a bistro and washes dishes and goes grocery shopping and cooks food, and does very little actual painting. The head chef keeps threatening to eat Philippe, which is a little disturbing, and then literally eats himself sick on other food (he gets jaundiced, because “rich food wastes your liver away”). The book was originally published in France, so it’s possible that some of the awkward wording is a result of the translation process, but the fact remains that the rhymes don’t always work well and the overall cadence is not very good.

Reviewed By:

Star Count 1/5
Format Hard
Page Count 32 pages
Publisher Filsinger & Co Ltd
Publish Date 12-Sep-2016
ISBN 9780916754457 Buy this Book
Issue September 2016
Category Children's


  1. Gary

    4 out of 5Your comment is awaiting approval
    Silly opinions aside, let’s get the facts straight first (Reporting 101). The author is Joan Dupont. Ellen Shire is the illustrator and Bryan Canniff the art director. Yes, it’s possible the page HTML/CSS mangled the titles.

    Next, the book was not “originally published in France”. It has never been published in France so there was no “translation process” involved. It was released in the US on 12 September, 2016 with a launch on 16 September in New York City.

    I am married to the illustrator, Ellen Shire, and I contributed technical services during the production phase.

    Note to monitor: This submission corrects a typo in my first version (Canniff).

  2. Gary

    Note to monitor: My earlier submission contains a typo— Canniff is the correct spelling.

  3. Petronius

    After reading her inept review one can only wonder at the age and experience of Holy Scudero. If she has a hard time following the plot of this simple story one wonders if she’s able to walk down the street without bumping into a lamppost. And that she doesn’t mention the superb illustrations is evidence of a rather dull eye. One wonders if she isn’t related to the editor to have gotten the job.

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