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Gabriella's Song (Aladdin Picture Books) Paperback – April 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 400L (What's this?)
  • Series: Aladdin Picture Books
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689841752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689841750
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Delicate renderings of Venetian life set the stage for this heartwarming tale of a girl with a song in her heart that kindles emotion and inspiration in everyone who hears it," said PW in its Best Books citation. Ages 3-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3?In Venice, the city of music, young Gabriella hears music in voices, water, boats, pigeons, the "slap-slap" of laundry drying, the "ting-aling-ling" of church bells, and her mother's voice. In Gabriella's heart, these sounds combine and become a song that she hums in the bakery. The baker hums it to a widow, who hums it to a gondolier, who plays it on his accordion. The music catches in the breeze, which spreads it all through the city?and into the room where the "brilliant composer Giuseppe Del Pietro" sits in museless frustration, unable to work on his newest symphony, scheduled for performance in a few weeks. Gabriella's tune, of course, becomes his inspiration, and he turns it into a magnificent symphony. Not only do the Venetians love the music, but they recognize it as Gabriella's song, and she, too, receives a standing ovation. Potter's flat ink, watercolor, and colored-pencil illustrations are somewhat reminiscent of Maira Kalman's work. A subdued palette transports readers to the streets of a city filled with old-world charm and perfectly complements the engaging text. Endpapers feature laundry and sheet music fluttering on clotheslines, and the back cover displays a map of Italy with Venice's location marked. A whimsical book for budding musicians, music teachers, or just about anyone looking for a good story.?Lisa Falk, Palos Verdes Library, CA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. And I told them all the time. As a preschooler, I told my neighbors all about my three-legged cat named Spot. In kindergarten, I told my classmates about the ghost that lived in my attic. And in first grade I told my teacher, Miss Harbart, all about my family's trip to Paris, France.

I told such a good story that people always thought I was telling the truth. But I wasn't. I didn't have a three-legged cat or a ghost in my attic, and I'd certainly never been to Paris, France. I simply enjoyed telling a good story... and seeing my listener's reaction.

Sure, some people might have said I was a seven-year old fibber. But not my parents. Instead of calling my stories "fibs" they called them "imaginative." They encouraged me to put my stories down on paper. I did. And amazingly, once I began writing, I couldn't stop. I filled notebook after notebook with stories, poems, plays. I still have many of those notebooks. They're precious to me because they are a record of my writing life from elementary school on.

In second grade, I discovered a passion for language. I can still remember the day my teacher, Miss Johnson, held up a horn-shaped basket filled with papier-mache pumpkins and asked the class to repeat the word "cornucopia." I said it again and again, tasted the word on my lips. I tested it on my ears. That afternoon, I skipped all the way home from school chanting, "Cornucopia! Cornucopia!" From then on, I really began listening to words--to the sounds they made, and the way they were used, and how they made me feel. I longed to put them together in ways that were beautiful, and yet told a story.

As I grew, I continued to write stories. But I never really thought of becoming an author. Instead, I went to college where I discovered yet another passion--history. I didn't realize it then, but studying history is really just an extension of my love of stories. After all, some of the best stories are true ones -- tales of heroism and villainy made more incredible by the fact they really happened.

After graduation, I got married and had children. I read to them a lot, and that's when I discovered the joy and music of children's books. I simply couldn't get enough of them. With my two sons in tow, I made endless trips to the library. I read stacks of books. I found myself begging, "Just one more, pleeeeease!" while my boys begged for lights-out and sleep. Then it struck me. Why not write children's books? It seemed the perfect way to combine all the things I loved: stories, musical language, history, and reading. I couldn't wait to get started.

But writing children's books is harder than it looks. For three years I wrote story after story. I sent them to publisher after publisher. And I received rejection letter after rejection letter. Still, I didn't give up. I kept trying until finally one of my stories was pulled from the slush pile and turned into a book. My career as a children's author had begun.

For more information visit my website: www.candacefleming.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By traceybeehive on July 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is such an enchanting, smart and magic little book. It has all the elements I look for in a book for the kids I read to. Through it kids can learn about another city (a quite a wonderful one at that), the power of music and the charm and love commen people of a town can provide for each other. I have read a lot of kids books and this one is really, really special.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julian Boot on April 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
There are so many elements that make this a truly lovely book. My daughter and I love Giselle Potter's illustration and when she is teamed with Candace Fleming they make the perfect combination. The storyline is original and interesting with Gabriella finding music in the sounds of everyday life. Her relationship with the people she meets each day and particularly her mother are loving, warm and sweet. And I really appreciate how Gabriella and her friends all have something to contribute and the composer takes their musicality and incorporates into his symphony - and they are thrilled! The language and repetition Fleming uses to describe the musical sounds of the neighbourhood are instantly recognisable and stimulating, encouraging little people to find their own "songs". The illustrations are divine - the colours so conjure up the light and antiquity of Italy and I find the rounded faces and bodies of Potter's Gabriella so appealing. Highly recommended, particularly for those parents and children who find pleasure in music and the gentle side of life. As with Agnes Caws this book provides an endearing and strong young girl heroine, interested in creativity, people and her environment.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The opening lines of this book hooked me: "Ah, Venice. The Piazza San Marco. The Grand Canal. St. Mark's Cathedral." This is the way to inspire a child to look outside his neighborhood! Gabriella's Song is a wonderful, richly textured book about how music is inspired and passed from person to person. My 3-year old, a music lover, enjoyed this book on the first read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Fourie on September 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I got this book from the libary for my 3 year old son. And we renewed it twice then had to return it. He was asking constantly for Gabriella. So, I just broke down and bought it. It's a beautifully written story about music. Her words have such an eloquence to them. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
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