________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 12. . . .November 25, 2016


Gabby, Wonder Girl. (Gabby; 3).

Joyce Grant. Illustrated by Jan Dolby.
Toronto, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2016.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-55455-384-6.

Subject Headings:
Mystery and detective stories.
Magic-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 2 / Ages 5-7.

Review by Vasso Tassiopoulos.

*** /4



“You don’t shake the book to get letters,” said Gabby. “You smash it!”

Gabby launched the book.

Letters flew everywhere!


Gabby, Wonder Girl is the third entertaining and educational book in Joyce Grant and Jan Dolby’s “Gabby” series. This installment of the series follows Gabby and her friend Roy as they become superheroes, named Wonder Girl and Super Roy, in order to help their neighbour Mrs. Oldham. The story stands on its own, but it also offers continuity in terms of letter learning and the development of characters from the previous books. The characters’ discovery of letters, in order to form words, which then turn into objects, is also a theme that continues in Gabby, Wonder Girl.

     The story begins with the mystery of an old photo which turns out to be Mrs. Oldham as a young girl. The children discover this when Gabby teaches Roy about the question marks that fall out of her magic letter book. Gabby and Roy use the question marks in order to ask ‘w’ questions that lead them to Mrs. Oldham who happens to be stuck in an apple tree. The quick and fun pace of the book will keep young children entertained as each illustration contains many features to explore. Young readers will become engaged in the characters’ use of colourful flying letters, that come to create words which then become helpful objects in their world. Each illustration also features a cast of critters that are hidden and can be pointed to by readers. These include a hedgehog, frog, cat, and bird, some of which appeared in previous Gabby books.

     Joyce Grant’s text and Jan Dolby’s illustrations work together seamlessly in order to create a colourful and animated work that is also educational. The final two pages of the work also include activities and online resources related to the book. Some activities include spelling, drawing, enquiry, and exploration which can be enjoyed in a school or home setting. Gabby, Wonder Girl is a worthwhile book that will engage children, educators, and parents with its wonder filled and vibrant pages.


Vasso Tassiopoulos is a graduate of the Master of Arts program in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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