Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Crepes by Suzette (review)

Tony Monica Wellington. Crepes by Suzette. New York: Dutton Books, 2004. Unpaged, Grades PreK-2nd.

Magnifique! Who wants crepes? Mais Oui! This book takes you on an extraordinary tour of Paris combining art with the sights. As you travel along with Suzette, actual photographs of the city appear in the background. The street pulses with pedestrians and autos on their way to work. The market place hums exotically with a cosmopolitan air as families dicker with peddlers. The park invites one to stop and smell the roses or just people watch. It isn’t until the Luxembourg Gardens scene when one realizes Suzette is serving to famous art paintings. I’m embarrassed to say I passed right by the Postmaster of Arles assuming it was part of Suzette’s illustrated family and not a representation of Van Gogh’s work. This book provides a great chance to explore art from famous artists by introducing the original works that inspired the cartoon versions. A child will delight in the French phrases although you will need to know them prior to reading aloud for they are not pronounced in the text. Notes in the back of the book include a recipe for crepes, glossary of French words, notes on the photographs and paintings. Author Wellington will sate any young child’s appetite for art and architecture along with encouraging their ability to find the same photographed children amongst the crowds.