NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The adventures of an ingenious new role model for children are explored in a new picture book released today: Philippe The Black Sheep. Written by Joan Dupont, and illustrated by Ellen Shire, it tells of Philippe, a Salt Marsh Lamb near Mont Saint-Michel. He grazes with the flock, but dreams of his easel — and plans his escape from the marshes to the Mont, to a new life, but new perils.
The island of Mont Saint-Michel in France is famous for its historic abbey, its omelettes, and its local sheep. At high tide, the Mont and the land across its bay are flooded, and when the waters recede, they leave the marshes salty. Sheep who feed on these savory grasses are an elite breed known as Salt Marsh Lamb, and their meat is much prized in the kitchens of France.
And so, this is a story of Philippe, the imaginary sheep, who wants to escape his fate. Through a narrative written in light verse and illustrated with whimsical drawings, children see a character with the courage to pursue his dreams.
Philippe is a "feast of food, heart's desire, and rising to the occasion with brio and dash" [Kirkus Reviews] and is "especially commended to the notice of parents, caregivers, and teachers eager to explore France, food, and dreams of the arts with their children and students" [Midwest Book Review]. The book is hardcover, 8 1/2 x 11, lavishly illustrated, and museum quality.
Jacques Pepin calls Philippe "a feast to read and to savor"; Carmen Dell'Orefice compares it to The Little Prince; and Katherine Branning of the French Institute/Alliance Francaise encourages all to "Join Philippe, the plucky self-starter."
JOAN DUPONT, author, lives in Paris. She writes on film and the arts and is known for her interviews in the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, Film Quarterly, and Film Comment, with artists such as Pina Bausch, Alain Resnais, Gerard Depardieu, and Isabelle Huppert, among others. This foray into children's fiction is Ms. Dupont's first, and was inspired by visits to the bay of Mont Saint-Michel.
ELLEN SHIRE, illustrator, is a fine artist and an author/illustrator of children's books. She is also a former dancer with the New York City Ballet under George Balanchine. Her previous children's books include The Bungling Ballerinas (Little, Brown and Company), nominated for a National Book Award, and The Mystery at Number Seven Rue Petite (Random House and Hamish Hamilton, London). Ms. Shire lives with her husband in rural France and in New York.
Philippe was edited by GEORGE HELD, with design by BRYAN CANNIFF and tech by GARY OSIUS.
An original composition for Philippe by YVONNICK PRENE, a jazz musician and master of the chromatic harmonica, will add to the fun — for adults and very hip children. It will be part of a future album by Mr. Prene, who was born in Paris.
Philippe The Black Sheep / by Joan Dupont / illustrations by Ellen Shire / publisher: Filsinger & Company, Ltd. / price: $25.00 hardcover / ISBN: 978-0-916754-45-7 / ages: 5-8+ / pages: 32 / publication: September 2016 / available: http://www.amazon.com; Baker & Taylor (www.btol.com); Follett School Solutions (www.follett.com); www.filsingerco.com; and through your local bookshop.
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SOURCE Filsinger & Company, Ltd. on behalf of Philippe The Black Sheep