December 04, 2013

Gabby, Drama Queen

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

She may not be royalty but never question whether Gabby, the little alphabet miss from Joyce Grant and Jan Dolby's original book (reviewed here January, 2013), is anything but a drama queen!  She has the effervescence, the style, and the imagination, although it will be necessary for those pesky letters to rearrange themselves into the props she and her friend Roy will need.

When Gabby decides that they should put on a play, she brings out her special storybook, the one from which the letters that build words tumble out.  The S and T, A, G and E come together for their platform (though she did have to extract several letters from their previous words), as do other letters for their royal court-based performance.  But, when Roy wants to be a swordfish (yes, a swordfish), Gabby finds a way to adapt the production of "The Perils of Queen Gabriella" to make everyone happy.

Letters and consequently words should definitely be the staple of someone called Gabby, and Joyce Grant puts her orange-haired raconteur to work again with her characteristic spirit.  And Jan Dolby's quirky and colourful illustrations successfully convey the joy that comes from creative play and the amazement that letters go beyond their placement in the alphabet and can provide more inspiration for playful learning.  Gabby has graduated from simple letter recognition to constructing words and ideas as Gabby, Drama Queen and I look forward to her wordsmith skills maturing into bigger and brighter concepts.

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