Friday, December 3, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Josephine Nobisso's Show; Don't Tell!

In this season of sharing and caring, I wanted to share my review of a fabulous picture book that is perfect gift for a child, or even an adult who writes or wants to write well (I personally LOVE it)!

This 40-page literary treasure chest unlocks the secrets of writing with the help of five folksy, but humorously drawn animals created by the talented Eva Montanari: Peguin, Duck, Rat, Cow and Lion. Together, they take the reader on a marvelous adventure in which he/she is an integral character who touches, sees,  smells, hears, sees, ponders and learns.

Each illustrative spread proves informative and challenging, and can be easily used on many levels, in fiction or non-fiction, or by a child or an adult who is reviewing writing principles or revising a piece of writing.

For example, in addition to the all important mantra "Show; Don't Tell," another piece of advice that I personally loved is the idea that a good noun is more important than an adjective. There's even a supporting experiment. This book is chock-full of tips and advice to teach writing skills and/or bring your skills to the next level. It's a wonderful tool with captivating illustrations, and I can easily see why it has won so many awards, including: CBC Children's Choices Award, 2006 Global Learning Initiative Award, Parent's Choice Foundation Award, Foreward Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist, Book Sense 76 Pick, and Nappa Parenting Publications Nappa Gold Award.

The cover, although beautiful, only gives a hint at the vivaciouness and color of Eva Montanari's gorgeous acrylic and pencil-on canvas that lies beyond. The pages are vivid, filled with texture and movement. My daughter and I could look at them again and again -- and that's what picture books are truly about!

Wait, there's more! Just wait until you discover the little surprises that Josephine Nobisso and her designer/daughter Maria Nicotra has tucked inside this inspiring, interactive book! It's truly a rare treasure.

About the Author: Josephine Nobisso is the award-winning author of over 40 books for children. She received teaching certification from the State University of  New York at New Paltz, and studied languages in Urbino, Italy, and in France and Austria. She has home-schooled her daughter Maria, who now worked with her as the Art Director of Gingerbread House, which they founded together. 
Her website is:

Eva Montanari graduated with high honors from both the State Institute of Applied Arts and from The European Institute of Design in Milan. Her paintings have been exhibited on three continents, and she has worked with some of the most important agencies and magazines in Italy. Besides having illustrated several books, Eva has many covers to her credit, and has also written texts for her own picture books. Ms. Montanari lives in Rimini, Italy, where she was born in 1977.  Show; Don’t Tell!, Secrets of Writing is Eva’s first book with Gingerbread House.

For more about the author Josephine Nobisso, check out:
For more about Gingerbread House check out: more about Eva Montanari, check out:

To order autographed copies of this book, please contact:


  1. Thanks for the wonderful review, Lynne! We so appreciate the time, thought, and energy that you put into covering this book so carefully! (And you were right on the mark in presenting it as a work for adults, too. That's turning out to be its biggest audience!)
    Sending you the biggest hug--cyber, for now!

  2. It's such a FABULOUS book, Joi! I can see why it has won so many awards! Big Hugs!