Gabby: Drama Queen is now available in stores!

Gabby’s second quirky adventure is now on store shelves.

We haven’t officially launched the book yet, and we’ll let you know when that party will be. (Hint: you’re invited.)

In the meantime, I signed some copies of Gabby and Gabby: Drama Queen at the wonderful Playful Minds toy store on St. Clair Ave. to help them celebrate their 10th anniversary.

Joyce Grant at Playful Minds Nov 2013

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Gabby Book Launch A Success

Gabby launch, ITA Cafe

There was a terrific crowd at the launch for Gabby on Jan. 27

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the launch party for Gabby on Jan. 27.

It was held at the ITA Cafe on Bloor St., a perfect venue because the cafe funds free literacy activities for kids.

Jan Dolby and I did a reading (with the help of my son, who posted the fabric letters). The kids who attended made plasticine and crayon Gabbies, which were fantastic. We’ll post pictures in our Kids’ Art Gallery soon.

The piece de resistance was a cake made by my editor, Christie Harkin, with gorgeous

Cake for the launch of Gabby - topper by Suzanne del Rizzo
Cake for the launch of Gabby – topper by Suzanne del Rizzo

Gabby cake toppers by dimensional media artist Suzanne del Rizzo. And the cake was delicious, too!

Thanks to everyone who attended the launch!

PS: Here’s a terrific article about the launch and ITA, written by book reviewer Kerry Clare.

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Come to Gabby’s book launch party Sunday., Jan. 27

Gabby launch party evite(It’s also Family Literacy Day!)

Join us for the launch of Gabby!

Bring your kids – there will be a book reading, colouring and plasticine. Make your own “Gabby” so we can include it in our Kids’ Gallery.

Illustrator Jan Dolby and I will be available to talk to you about the book and personally sign your copy of Gabby.

The party is on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1:00, at the Intergalactic Travel Authority Cafe (and Story Planet), 1165 Bloor St. W., in Toronto. One block west of Dufferin, on the south side of the street. (Beside Bloor Collegiate.) Hope to see you there!
Map to the ITA cafe.

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Word on the Street – had a great time!

Joyce Grant at WOTS; Image by Sue ChisholmThanks to everyone who supported me at my reading at Word on the Street.

Thanks to my high school friends, my neighbours, my family, writer’s group buddies, publisher and everyone else who came.

Just knowing you were there (either in person or in spirit) helped me get over my first-reading jitters.

Now… see you all next year?!

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My first reading of GABBY – to JK/SKs

Gabby_coverI am reading GABBY at Word on the Street this Sunday. It’s my first public book reading… ever. So naturally, I’m a bit nervous. And, naturally, I wanted to try the book out with some kids first in a smaller setting to see what I might need to tweak.

Hillcrest school was kind enough to lend me a lovely JK/SK class for 20 minutes or so. (Thank you to the teachers and the principal for setting that up!)

Here’s what I learned:

  • When you offer some kids a fabric letter to hold, you’d better have something for the other kids to hold, too. Preferably, the first letter of their name. (Or they may throw a letter at you. At your head. And have to apologize later.)
  • At the beginning of the school year, some JK kids are very young. Not everyone will know all the letters, or the sounds they make.
  • Once you’ve finished reading the book, you’d better have used up all your time… or have something else up your sleeve. The kids all turn their eyes on you and… crickets. I had to think fast! (We talked about the first letters of the children’s names.)
  • It’s great to have a “crisis” in your book. The principal suggested that I ask the kids “What will Gabby do?” And it really worked! The kids came up with some great ideas. (Where the heck were they when I was writing the book!?)
  • If your protagonist conjures up a fish for the cat to eat… it’s probably best not to dwell too much on the cute little fish.
  • Teachers are fantastic in terms of giving you feedback and ideas for next time. Thank you, Laura, Nancy and Jon!
  • If your book ends with a word like PILLOW, you’d better make two fabric Ls. (And fast, before Sunday!)

Wish me luck!

 

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Come to my reading at WOTS on Sunday, Sept. 23, 4:50

I’m going to be doing my first public reading from Gabby, this Sunday, Sept. 23 from 4:50 to 5:10.

Join me in the Children’s Reading Tent at Toronto’s Word on the Street (WOTS). WOTS is a huge festival of books that overtakes nearly all of Toronto’s Queen’s Park Circle for one day each year. It’s fantastic.

I’m nervous + excited about doing my first big reading. Exnercited.

For more information about WOTS, how to get there, who else is reading, etc. click here or go to my Events page in this website.

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Stuffed letters–great for literacy

Letters for Gabby

These fabric letters will be used during my book readings. Tactile letters of any kind are great for young readers to help them connect with words.

Just finished sewing some stuffed fabric letters that I’ll use as props when I do book readings for Gabby.

A local wedding dress designer donated some fabric (including some raw silk – check out the J!) and my friend Jane is helping me stuff the letters; I still need a few more.

They’ll be fun for kids to throw around and put together into words, just like Gabby does.

Playing with letters–whether they’re Scrabble tiles, letter dice like the ones in Jr. Boggle or these stuffed letters–gets kids interacting with words and is a great first step in the literacy process.

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