Crepes by Suzette is a simple story of a day in the life of a crepe vendor (aptly named Suzette) who wanders through Paris. After purchasing ingredients in a market, Suzette pushes her cart through some Paris’ most quintessential settings: Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Luxembourg Gardens, Notre-Dame Cathedral, to name a few. The book is a travelogue, a celebration of Paris, and an innovative multimedia experience.
Created by author and illustrator, Monica Wellington, Crepes by Suzette juxtaposes photos of Parisian scenes with mementos such as coins, stamps and maps. Monica’s own vibrant illustrations are layered onto the foreground. The collage-like effect lends lends depth and energy to the experience. As Suzette stops to pick up ingredients or serve her hungry customers, readers can track her progress on a map. Readers can also view photographs or a video of every place Suzanne sells her wares.
French phrases are featured in each scene: “School is out. The schoolchildren all want crepes filled with melted chocolate. Mmmm. C’est bon!” Tap the various characters on the page to hear the word being pronounced in many different voices. Readers can access a “Vocabulary” tab to hear a translation of the French word in the 6 different languages.
Wellington cleverly uses Suzette’s hungry customers to pay homage to French art. The elegant shopper who buys Suzette’s crepes at the Place Vendome is based on a painting of a shopper by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The dancer who buys a zesty lemon crepe at the Palais-Garnier is inspired by The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer by Degas. Readers can get information about the French masterpiece behind each scene by clicking on an “Art” tab.
I happen to find the story behind the making of this app as interesting as the app itself. Monica Wellington has over 40 books to her credit, but this is her first app. “Unlike my books that have all the support behind them of my publishing house, my little app just has me trying to send it out into the big world,” says Wellington. The app is a thoughtful compilation of illustrations and media clips. Wellington collected the sound bytes by wandering around Paris – to markets, playgrounds, carousels and streets.
- Developer: Monica Wellington
- Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
- Price: $2.99
- Age: 6-8