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Crêpes by Suzette app review

crepes menu Oh là là! App Crêpes by Suzette (May 2015; iOS and Android), based on the picture book of the same name by Monica Wellington, features a crêpe maker — aptly named Suzette! — peddling her wares across Paris. After first stopping at an outdoor market for the day’s ingredients, she pushes her crêpe cart through town; a map shows the spots along her route (the Luxembourg and Tuileries gardens, Notre-Dame, the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc.). The simple story (which can be read aloud or by yourself, and in six different languages: French, English, German, Spanish, Japanese, Italian) incorporates at least one French word or phrase into each scene: “Outside the museum the artist wants a snack, tout de suite. Time to flip the crêpe!” Tap the characters (including, on this page, the Mona Lisa and a mouse and squirrel) to hear different voices cheerily pronounce the French phrase.

crepes postman

The accompanying pictures are collages of real-life photos of contemporary Paris; simply shaped drawings of Suzette and her amis; and French maps, newspapers (Le Figaro), stamps, etc. Allusions to French artwork (Dance by Matisse, The Bath by Cassatt, Three Musicians by Picasso) appear in the illustrations and are explained in an “Art” section accessible from the map icon at the top left of the screen. There’s also a “Vocabulary” tab, which shows translations of the target French phrase in all six languages, and additional photos and videos.

crepes map

Unobtrusive jazzy music (beaucoup de clarinet and accordion, with some strings at the Louvre — classy!), help set the scene. When you’re good and hungry, tap the “DIY Crepes” tab on the front page for a one-minute “Crêpe Maker’s Demo,” a 4.5-minute “Cooking Lesson” (in someone’s kitchen), and an easy written recipe. Bon mangé!

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 6.0 or later) and Android devices (requires Android 2.3.3 and up); $1.99. Recommended for primary users.

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.

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