A salt marsh lamb living in the shadow of Mont Saint-Michel rebels against his destiny.
In the pastures across the bay from the iconic abbey, the French raise salt marsh lambs, the grass infusing the lambs’ meat with its succulent saltiness. But Phillipe—a black sheep, a bohemian artist—has no intention of following the flock to the ax. In Dupont’s finger-snapping couplets, this story tells of Phillipe’s escape, his landing on Mont Saint-Michel, and his discovery of bistro cooking. So mesmerized is Phillipe by the island he agrees to become kitchen drudge for the bistro’s notorious chef, Louis the Cruel. Although the food is great, the bistro is doing poorly because Louis eats all the food before the patrons arrive for lunch. Until he collapses one day under the weight of his gluttony and Phillipe wields the pans to strut his culinary flair. Who knew? After Louis recuperates, Philippe returns to the mainland to open his own bistro and get back to painting. Dupont’s rhymes shine: “That lamb has a way / of presenting a plate! / Who knows what it was, / what it was that we ate?” Shire’s artwork is set on fields of pastel color, wobbly, William Steig–esque lines presenting the silliness in vignettes surrounded by text.
A feast of food, heart’s desire, and rising to the occasion with brio and dash. (Picture book. 4-8)