Bonjour! Would you like take a trip with us to see the sights and hear the sounds of Paris? How would your young reader like to whirl on a carousel or sail a toy boat in the Luxembourg Gardens? With all that activity, you will surely need to stop for a goûter to keep you going!
Do all this and more (and before nap time too!) with Crêpes by Suzette, a picture book-turned-app by Monica Wellington. Travel around Paris with Suzette and her crêpe cart and meet her many customers, all of whom are inspired by subjects of famous works of art (such as a ballet dancer who looks very much like Degas's Little Dancer).
While traditional picture books can never be replaced, the Crêpes by Suzette app is the perfect example of how a book can be enhanced by technology. Choose between reading the story yourself or having it read aloud, with each word highlighted as it is spoken. Or, read or hear the story in six different languages! As you dive into the story, you will hear the background sounds of Paris, the music, laugher, and bits of conversation that will immediately transport you to the City of Lights. As a bonus, on each page you will find features including photos and videos of Parisian scenes, a French vocabulary word with its translation into six languages, and the art history that inspired each of Suzette's customers.
And we can't forget the crepes! We are big fans of picture books that include a recipe at the end, such as Old Black Witch and The Apple Pie Tree. In the Crêpes by Suzette app, you will find a recipe and video so you can make crêpes at home, and ideas for both sweet and savory fillings (plus find one below). Bon apetit!
In this Issue
Every young crêpe maker need his or her own crêpe cart to sell their wares! Spark your young readers' imaginations to make their own crêpe cart and see what they come up with. If you need help getting started, you can read how we made ours below.
While young readers assemble their cart, parents can cut circles of different colored felt for play crêpes and a variety of fillings. Oh là la!
- Large cardboard box
- Paper towel tubes
- Paper plates
- Aluminum foil
- For the cart: Paint a large box any desired color or colors. Color two paper towel tubes for handles. Attach to one side by cutting two holes and securing with tape.
- For wheels: Draw spokes on two or four paper plates. Attach to the cart with tape.
- For an umbrella: Color one paper plate and one paper towel tube as desired. Attach paper plate to one end of the tube with tape, and tape other end of tube to cart.
- For "metal" cooking surface: Cover one paper plate with aluminum foil and secure with tape. Tape to cart.
- As a finishing touch, create a sign or menu. Don't forget to include the price!
- Tan felt
- felt scraps in a variety of colors
- Cut roughly 6 inch (or desired size) circles from tan felt.
- Use felt scraps to cut out various fillings such as brown Nutella or red strawberry jam. What other toppings can your young reader think of?
After you've made crêpes as described in the app, you need a tantalizing filling to take them over the top. Suzette offers crêpe fillings including chocolate, jam, sugar, and lemon. A favorite filling is a thick spread of Nutella. You can always use store-bought chocolate hazelnut spread, but this homemade version is extra special and, dare I say it, better than actual Nutella!
Adapted from Annie's Eats.
- 8 ounces (2 cups) chopped hazelnuts*
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil (I could not find hazelnut oil and used walnut oil instead with no noticeable difference)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
*Want to use whole hazelnuts with skins? Annie's Eats has additional directions that can help you out.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chopped hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, until toasted and fragrant.
- Place the toasted hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and process until hazelnuts are completely ground and a paste forms.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. It will first form a very thick, dry paste, but continue running the machine until the spread is glossy; this might take several minutes. Store at room temperature up to a month.
Need some more ideas for filling your crêpes?
More from Off the Shelf
- More Cooking Around the World: How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
- More Monica Wellington: Apple Farmer Annie
- More Paris, France: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, Anatole by Paul Galdone
Did your young reader make his or her own crêpe cart? How did you fill your crêpes? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Tag your Instagram photos with #booksofftheshelf so we can see what you have been up to!
We were provided a download of this app for review, but the opinions are entirely our own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Off the Shelf!