Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BUT WHAT DOES MOMMY DO AT NIGHT? by Lise  Bilien

BUT WHAT DOES MOMMY DO AT NIGHT?

By Lise Bilien (Author) , Mathilde Baufine (Illustrator) , Nexemble (Developer)

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Dec. 7th, 2011
Publisher: Nexemble

A particularly odd mix of photographs, graphics and sound bites offers clues about what mommies do when they go out at night.

The title of this app from France may raise a few eyebrows, but the raggedly translated text itself suggests that any dubious ideas or phrases may well be victims of language or cultural differences. Among other things, Mommy likes to “have a wild time with her friends,” confide in them about “her little belly that starts to sag” and chatter about everything from nail polish and shoes to concerns over being fat—all of which may resonate with American mothers, whether they’ll admit it or not. But Mommy also likes going to the theater, eating at a grown-up restaurant or attending a groovy concert. This app gets high marks for originality and quirkiness, and the concept is solid. The text explains Mommy’s “after hours” activities and does a fair job articulating the five w’s: who, what, when, where and why. Some narration is hyperbolically dramatic, particularly the girlfriend party, where tapping each woman prompts dialogue that ranges from desperation to high-pitched fanatical gushing. Each screen is an arbitrary mashup of photo images, illustrations, unsophisticated animations and interactions that will alternately intrigue (at least initially) and baffle readers. At least it’s not boring.

Probably best suited for eccentric folks and hipsters. (iPad storybook app. 5-10)