Philippe the Black Sheep
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.
Filsinger & Co Ltd
Joan Dupont • Ellen Shire, Illustrator • Bryan Canniff, Contributor