Gelli Belle and The Magic Toy Chest


Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
66 Pages
Reviewed on 10/08/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Vernae Bezear is a Literacy and Instructional Coach in the Bronx, NY. She holds a Master's Degree in Elementary Education and School Administration from Mercy College and a Reading Recovery Specialist certification from NYU. She has worked in education for almost 20 years, having taught 4th grade for 12 of them.

She is passionate about learning and reading and is dedicated to empowering and motivating parents to become their child's first teacher and inspiration for years to come!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Children love their toys – the more the merrier. But, no sooner do they retrieve a favorite toy and start playing with it, then another toy catches their interest and the first favorite toy is abandoned, usually somewhere in their bedroom. By the end of the day, a child’s bedroom can be a minefield of toys, which is something Gelli Belle’s Daddy discovers one morning when he walks into his daughter’s room and trips over her toys. He has a solution. It’s time for Grandma’s magic toy chest. He takes Gelli Belle to the basement where they find the old chest, dirty and worn. Gelli Belle’s not too sure, but Daddy is determined. He cleans it up and brings it to her room, looking all sparkling and almost like new. Will the magic of the chest help Gelli Belle keep her room tidy?

Vernae Bezear’s picture book story, Gelli Belle and The Magic Toy Chest, is full of its own kind of magic, the magic that all parents dream of when trying to coerce their children to pick up their toys at the end of the day. With colorful illustrations and told in rhyming verse, this story will appeal to the young reader as well as the ever-optimistic parent who hopes there is a lesson to learn within these pages. And there is: it’s a magic lesson, one that teaches young children that there is a bit of magic in any toy chest because, once full, every morning it greets the child with a new sense of excitement. A charming, heartwarming story.

Deborah Lloyd

Gelli is a little girl who loves her toys, but she also does not like to pick them up after playtime. One morning, her father trips on a toy in her room and decides it is time to take care of this problem. Dressed in a top hat and carrying a magic wand, he takes Gelli to the basement and shows her Grandma’s magic toy chest. Although Gelli is not impressed by how old and shabby the toy chest looks, she follows her father’s instructions to clean her room while he restores the chest. Although he warns her not to open the chest before morning, she cannot resist – and magic happens! In Gelli Belle and the Magic Toy Chest, written by Vernae Bezear, important children’s lessons are imparted within the context of a delightful fantasy.

While the story itself would expand a child’s imagination, the beautiful illustrations are also an important element. The illustrators, Jozcel Fernandez and Christina Redenko, capture the personalities of Gelli and her parents. Likewise, the personalities they give the toys would be quite intriguing for a child to ponder. The author has accomplished the main goal of a children’s book – to teach a lesson in a way that will engage and captivate a child’s understanding and imagination. Author Vernae Bezear, with the assistance of two talented illustrators, has written a lovely children’s book in Gelli Belle and the Magic Toy Chest. It will be a wonderful tool for parents to teach children about the importance of cleaning up after playing.