January 21, 2013


by Joyce Grant
Illustrated by Jan Dolby
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
32 pp.
Ages 3-6
January 2013

Look at this little cutie!  Could it be a junior Pippi?  No, this little one is Gabby and she is much more grounded and responsible, although still imaginative.

This sweet little girl is responsibly tidying up her room of its toys and books when a falling book deposits its letters every which way but inside the tome.  Fortunately, the very clever letters find their way to appropriate settings: a C on the carpet, an A on an armchair, a T on the table.  And by using those three letters, Gabby creates a very funky CAT.  Then, by retrieving different letters, Gabby is able to feed the CAT.  But when the letters B-I-R-D come together and mayhem ensues, Gabby puts her letter-building skills to work and makes things P-E-R-F-E-C-T (my word, not hers).

Joyce Grant's light-hearted text may demonstrate the fun to be had with building words but with Jan Dolby's cutie Gabby and the joyous letters, the story is more than an alphabet lesson.  Letters become toys with which to play, bend, imagine, build and delight.  They're fun! I dare any child to read this book and think that they are being taught about the alphabet and vocabulary building. And teachers and parents will love the joy that Gabby exudes putting her letters together.  With the "Fun Gabby Activities" put together by author Joyce Grant and illustrator Jan Dolby at the end of the book, children can learn how to draw Gabby, make ribbon words or play a memory game.  There is even more fun to be had at the author's website http://joycegrantauthor.com/ 

I recommend that young readers open the toy box that is Gabby (the book, not the girl) and play with the action-figures called letters.  By bringing learning into the realm of play, Gabby will more than meet expectations, learning and otherwise.

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