Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review: Gabriella Books by Jerry Di Leo, Patsy Di Leo and Silvina Maldonado

There are currently 6 Gabriella Books - I own 5 of them.

These books are aimed at the 3 - 6 year old, and early learning skills, for children.
They are frequently free - I usually see at least one or two every month.

These books may work well as a preschool lapbook project springboard in a school setting.

I read these books on my Kindle for PC app or the Kindle Cloud.

This one is the ONLY book in the series that I do not own, though I don't know whether it is because it hasn't been free yet, or whether I overlooked it when it was free ... so I cannot review it.   However, at only 99cents, if you like the other books in the series, you may enjoy this one as well.
   Gabriella and Her Bouquet of Friends (Gabriella Books)

Book Description

 December 21, 2011
Gabriella learns about flowers from her friends, Daisy, Tulip, Rose, Daffodil, Petunia, and Pansy. They all learn something unique about each flower as they plant a flower garden together. Winner of a 2010 Premier Book Award, a Fall 2010 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, and Finalist in USA Best Books 2011 Awards.

ALL of the books are only 99c on Kindle at their regular price.

     Gabriella and Her Berry Good Friends (Gabriella Books)

Book Description

 January 15, 2012
Gabriella enjoys desserts made by her berry friends, Sally Strawberry, Roz Raspberry, Chris Cranberry, and Bella Blueberry.

You can see from the book cover, that Gabriella is a "real" little girl and her fruit friends are "real" fruit with arms and legs and faces.   Right off the bat, I was confused, because the first sentence of the book was on the author and copyright page ... so make sure you catch and read that first sentence.

This sentence structure confusion continued as the book progressed, as a comment was on one page, and the "said whoever" part was on the next.  It made the book feel choppy.

The basic story goes along ... Gabriella comes to visit her berry friends.  They have each made a desert made from the berry that they represent.  (I don't know, this always feels a tad cannibalistic to me - but I am frequently told that I have a strange way of looking at things.)   Sally Strawberry has fixed Strawberry Shortcake - which everyone has a piece and enjoys.  Each of the berries has a desert and gives a brief explanation of that desert.  Everyone compliments the desert maker and exclaims how good the desert is, until finally they have eaten all 4 of the deserts.  As the book ends, they decide that they should have a desert party again.

This is a VERY simple book.  It would be a good early reader for a child starting to expand reading material, although I'm afraid the book would quickly become boring for most older readers and listeners.  It may be more palatable if the parents bake samples of each of the deserts ahead of time, and use it as a teaching tool to get their children to try new foods.  This will also allow the child to experience the story in a new way.

The pictures were fairly cute.  They looked fine on my PC Kindle app.

Overall, I can see this as a springboard for teaching children about fruit, table manners, and polite conversation.

   Pirate Gabriella Sails the Five Oceans (Gabriella Books)

Book Description

 July 9, 2011
Children's picture book from award-winning authors Jerry and Patsy Di Leo has Gabriella as a pirate sailing the five oceans of the world, teaching us facts about the oceans while using pirate lingo. 2011 Royal Dragonfly Book Award Winner!

This is also a simple and short book of few words ... Gabriella is a pirate.  She is sailing on the 5 Oceans .. starting with the Atlantic.  The story describes that it is the 2nd largest ocean made up of the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic.  The North Atlantic is between North America and Europe.  The South Atlantic is between South America and Africa .... and so goes the story describing the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific, the Indian, and the Southern Ocean.

This is a fairly good introduction to geography of oceans and continents ... but there is only one very crude map of the Indian Ocean.

However, it could be used to "sail" a ship around a large world map as the story is read to give it much more depth, or a starting point to explore early geography.

   Gabriella Counts to Ten in Eight Languages (Gabriella Books)

Book Description

 January 13, 2012
Children's picture book from award-winning authors has Gabriella counting to ten in eight different languages - English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Japanese, and Korean. Finalist in the USA Best Books 2011 Awards.

This book is another one that you'll miss the first sentence if you are not looking for it "Hi, I'm Gabriella.  Let's count to ten in different languages".  Basically it repeats the same thing 8 times ... Let's count to ten in __________ (insert language).  Then is has the number and the word and the pronunciation of the number (except in English).  Then it says "Very good" in that language.  Then on the same page, it says, "Let's count in ___________ (next language).

What I liked ... each page where you start to count has a nice mural of the country flag, and some of the common things that you would see in the country, such as the Eiffel Tower.  Most of the murals also have a rough outline map.

What I didn't like ... the counting starts under the mural, and then falls over into a blank page.  I would have rather seen the "Let's count in ______ (language)" under the mural, and all 10 of the numbers together on the same page.

Other than that, the murals and the pronunciation key will lend itself to a learning experience.  It could be fun to look up the different land marks on the internet after you have read it a couple of times, and work on learning to count to 10 in each of the languages.

   Gabriella's Salad Bowl of Friends (Gabriella Books)

Book Description

 April 17, 2012
Gabriella and her friends, Tammy Tomato, Lucy Lettuce  Susie Cucumber, and Carrie Carrot, get together to make a salad for lunch.

This story is the same type as the berry one above.  There are 4 vegetables, and they look like the vegetable with arms, legs, and faces.  They invite Gabriella over for a salad.  When she arrives, Lucy Lettuce takes her out to the garden and Gabriella picks, washes, and puts the lettuce in the bowl.

Next, Tammy tomato takes her out to her potted tomato and Gabriella picks some tomatoes, and washes and cuts them up.  Then Susie takes her outside to get cucumbers, and Gabriella fixes those.  Finally, the carrot takes her to the carrot patch ... so Gabriella dons her "oven mitt" gardening gloves 3 times (she didn't have them to get cucumbers, or to listen to the tomato talk about tomato flowers) and goes outside to the garden 4 times.

I found it odd that Gabriella did all of the picking, washing, chopping, and putting into the bowl.  Then, three of the veggies poured in salt, oil, and vinegar (one each), and the 4th veggie did the tossing.

As far as learning ... you could make a salad with the instructions, and there are a few "facts" about the veggies - cucumbers grow on a fence, tomatoes have flowers, carrots grow in the ground, and lettuce has Vitamin A.

    Astronaut Gabriella Explores the Solar System (Gabriella Books)

Book Description

 January 31, 2012
Gabriella is an astronaut who travels to outer space and tells us about all the planets in our solar system.

In my opinion, this is the best of the 5 books that I have looked at tonight.

First, it is loaded with facts about the solar system's planets.  Not distances and weights, just fun stuff like the sun is really hot, and Mercury is sometimes called the "Morning Star."  There are only a few simple facts about each planet, but there is also a nice picture of Gabriella in her rocket ship zooming past each of the planets.  It also includes comets, asteroids, and the Moon.

At the very end, you see the planets lined up behind her ... but as the Magic School Bus says ... it just made it easier to do it that way.

Overall, I consider this one a keeper, and I can see it used as part of my son's planet exploration this year.

I'm going to try to review a children's book or set of books each week.
If you have a request, please let me know by leaving a comment.
If you are an author and want a special review or to be featured on this blog, you can leave a comment and how to contact you for further arrangements or contact me via my Facebook Page, you can find a link in the sidebar.

I have a soft spot for young indi authors, as my daughter is one!

Books should be "safe" for children under the age of 12.  Otherwise, I will review it on my cousin's O'Scarlett blog.  Thanks!

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...