From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3--Francophiles will delight in Wellington's Paris, shown as a beautiful city filled with historic buildings, gardens, and happy people eating Suzette's crêpes as she sells them from her pushcart in parks and squares and on wide boulevards. While there is not much of a story in this charming book, the visual details are plentiful. The intriguing illustrations are mixed-media collages of photographs and ephemera (tickets, stamps, postcards, etc.). Most of the photos have been taken apart and put back together again in a slightly off-kilter way; this very modern look blends perfectly with the simple, sweet cartoon paintings of the vendor and the people she meets. These customers are posed like the characters in famous paintings, which are identified in an afterword. The brief text appears inside crêpe-like circles, which are often set against wide sidewalks, adding stability and peacefulness to the otherwise busy scenes. The story opens with a street map of Paris pinpointing all of Suzette's stops and ends with a glossary of French phrases, a crêpe recipe, and details about the scenes in the photographs. While it may be best appreciated with the help of an adult familiar with the city, observant readers will enjoy this original and appealing concept book that mixes art appreciation with a travelogue.--Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
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PreS-Gr. 2. Books penned by illustrators sometimes sacrifice literary muscle in the name of visual impact. Such seems to be the case with this otherwise lively picture book, which is built around a day in the life of a Parisian street vendor. A cart is an excellent device for getting Suzette from one page (street corner) to the next and enabling her to interact with a host of different characters, but there's not much depth to this story about French pancakes. Still, the book has an undeniable charm, thanks entirely to the wonderfully intricate collages that create a visual impression of all things Paris. Wellington successfully uses stamps, labels, headlines, and street maps to underscore actual photographs taken during her visits to the city, and as with her Night House, Bright House (1997), she populates her street corners with knockoffs of characters from familiar works of art. The dense visuals make for delightful exploration, as do the recipe, French glossary, and picture notes at the end. Terry Glover
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