Queen Been in Paris by Joshua and Donna Wilson from The Happy Dandelion is a very sweet storybook app which takes little ones on an adventure through France with the help of a beautiful Queen Bee.
Queen Bee decides one day that she wants to take off on an adventure and leaves her hive behind. She buzzes through France admiring beautiful bridges, historical towns, attempts skiing in the Alps but finds it too cold so heads off to the beaches of the Cote d’Azur but finds it too warm.
She flies off and explores the beautiful wine and castle regions of France and before heading to Paris, visits the Palace of Versailles and Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny.
When she arrives in Paris she falls in love with the monuments, blends with the locals with her bee stripes, admires the French food, the church of Notre Dame and its gargoyles and the many impressive museums.
Queen Bee finally finds what she was looking for, a place to dance in the inspiring district of Montmartre! She was happy at last!
The great thing about this story is that each page is interactive which makes it fun for little ones because they can take part in the story too. The pages of the storybook can be turned by a simple swipe and there are clear instructions at the beginning of the app letting you know how to use it. The app can be enjoyed in either French or English, with both narration and text switchable between the 2 languages. Hidden at the bottom of each page there is a fun fact bar with extra information. This app also has a contents section, a brief history and map of France. It has no in-app purchases, third party ads, external or social media links.
To have the page narrated or to switch languages you have to pull up the fact bar and touch the relevant flag. This can be cumbersome and interrupts the flow of the story, it would be simpler to be able to switch narration on or off and select language on the home screen. The hidden bar could still allow the user the option to change language or narration on individual pages if they so wished. The app is also missing a “start button” on the home screen which can make it confusing for little ones to understand how to start the story. It would be nice to see these changes in the navigation to make the user experience smoother as otherwise this is a really beautiful app.
My daughter and I loved this little story filled with beautiful illustrations, music and lots of travelling facts about France’s history, geography and culture.
iTunes link: Queen Bee in Paris – Joshua Wilson