Philippe the Black Sheep

Written by Jean Dupont | Illustrated by Ellen Shire

This is the story of Philippe, of France, a Salt Marsh Lamb with artistic ambitions. After an arduous journey, he ends up in a Mont Saint-Michel kitchen with a cruel chef — until he’s freed to do his art. The underlying message is to follow your star.



This is the kind of cover that would have enticed me as a kid. It’s funny, it’s quirky, and it makes me wonder what the book is about. It doesn’t give too much away, but it gives a good hint. Wonderful artwork, though as always, I think the title could be a little more prominent.


Each page has one or more illustrations, and the artwork itself is quite wonderful. It fits the story perfectly, and it’s very entertaining. I would have preferred to see full page illustrations rather than cut-and-paste pieces surrounded by text. As is, the flow of the text is a bit unwieldy around the art, and it doesn’t make for comfortable reading.

Once again though, I really loved the artwork. It’s charming and fun and lively. There’s so much to look at on each page!


This is a funny, highly entertaining story; however, I think it could have used a little more editing. The rhyming threw me off a bit too, as the meter feels awkward. Word choices occasionally seem a bit forced as well – chosen to fit the rhyme, rather than the word that is best for the story/reader.


About the Author

Joan Dupont, author, writes on film and the arts and is known for her interviews in the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. This foray into children’s fiction was inspired by a visit to the bay of Mont Saint-Michel. Ms. Dupont, originally a New Yorker, lives mainly in Paris.

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