Gabby’s Dollhouse: Tricks and Treats

Scholastic. Jul. 2024. 10p. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781339049489.
Toddler-Gr 1–In this story based on a Netflix animated series, Gabby’s friend Cakey Cat has gone missing, and she is trying to find him. As Gabby and Pandy search, careful readers will notice a tiny Cakey Cat hiding in the background of each scene. Character designs are fun, creative, and cute, with most characters based on cats in some way. Gabby has tan skin and colorful, curly rainbow hair to match her rainbow shirt and tutu. However, the adaptation from show to book is awkward and confusing. Illustrations appear to be screenshots from the show, resulting in the characters looking stilted and posed, their expressions not always matching the emotions implied by their dialogue. The writing tries to engage readers using second person address on the first page, but through the rest of the book it is unclear whether “we” and “us” includes readers. Scenes don’t always follow logically from one another. This, combined with the inconsistent correlation between the pictures to the words, might make the book difficult to read for the target audience. The story seems to have been abridged for the book, and it isn’t easy to follow if someone is not familiar with the episode.
VERDICT An unsuccessful adaptation of a well-loved show. Not recommended.

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