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Gus’ Little Coin by Zanzibook – Review

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Gus’ Little Coin is a universal app from Zanzibook. It is an international collaberation with contributions from France, India, Brazil and New Caledonia.

The book is available in both French and English, and is narrated in both languages. The story is about a little boy named Gus, who lives in Paris and who collects coins. He has one special coin, “La Petite Piece”, which was given to him by his parents and was from the same year he was born. One day he visits a local bakery and sees his favorite – a coconut cupcake – but he doesn’t have the money to by it unless he parts with his little coin. He gives into temptation and the little coin’s adventures begin. It travels to New York, then all over the world before arriving in Brazil. In Brazil the coin starts to get homesick, then as luck would have it she manages to get back to Paris and is reunited with Gus. Gus is overjoyed to have his coin back, and the coin is happy to be home and tells her adventures to the rest of her friends in his coin collection.

The book is lightly animated, and not interactive, but the thing that makes it unusual is that periodically it bursts into song. There are four original songs in the app that make you feel a little like you are in a Broadway musical. I half expected people to start dancing around my living room.

It is a cute little story and exposes kids to other cultures around the world. The musical does add an element of fun to it. It is nice that you can read (and listen to) it in both French and English, but I would like to see highlighting of the text as it is read as a future update.

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