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Author: Terry John Barto

Illustrator: Mattia Cerato

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Publisher: TjB Kids, 2014

Material: paperback

Summary: Anamazie Mare LaBelle is a star in Gobbleville, USA. She sings, she dances, she twirls baton - surely she'll win Gobbleville's Got Talent. But Edith Winkmeyer won. Her dream of becoming a movie star in Gollywood is dashed. Or is it? After the show, a talent scout invites Anamazie to a screen test. Gollywood, here she comes! This is a story about believing in yourself and your dreams.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 5 to 8

Young Reader Reaction: What struck our 12-year-old about the book were the beautiful, bright illustrations. She kept ooh-ing and aah-ing over all of the characters ("they're so cute") and she spent more time looking at the scenery and all of the activity going on in the illustrations than reading. Overall, she said it was a "good book for kids."

Adult Reader Reaction: Adorable. I have to agree with my daughter - the colors are so positive and happy. There are some great references that adults are more likely to get than kids, and some great information about how a movie is made. My only wish was that Henrietta Pearl (Anamazie's mom) was toned down. She was too stereotypical for my taste, and I would rather have seen her as a "partner" with her daughter rather than pushing her from one activity to the next.

Pros: Fun illustrations and a happy ending will engage readers of all ages to enjoy Gollywood Here I Come. Kids will be asking to visit Gobbleville to watch the parade.

Cons: None, really. The story moves quickly from losing Gobbleville's Got Talent to becoming a movie star, which may cause some readers to miss some of the story's subtext.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Anamazie is adorable and there is plenty to explore with the illustrations. This is a book that young readers may come back to when they're a little older to get some of the subtleties of the book.

If You Liked This Book, Try: CHARLIE HITS IT BIG   THE BEST MARIACHI IN THE WORLD / El mejor Mariachi del mundo   FANTASTIC FEMALE FILMMAKERS (The Women's Hall of Fame Series)

Educational Themes: Although this is a story about Anamazie's dream to be a star, there is also great information about how movies are made. The text covers some of it, but the illustrations have plenty of "unspoken" material, too. Also, the story is a chance to talk about dreams and hard work, feelings (disappointment, elation), and change.

Notes: The Reading Tub® reviewed this book in conjunction with an Author Showcase feature. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, family, performing arts

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2014

Other Reviews: See reader feedback at


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