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Welcome! I’m Dana Gambardella, writer, life-long learner, love-to-laugh Italian-American and President of Literacy Chef Publishing, LLC, a self-publishing company that merges my educator passion for childhood literacy with a vital mission for young readers to embrace their own process as the essential ingredient to fostering a love of story and a lifetime of literacy.


I write to create stories that grab hold of every reader's heart in a way that's personal to them. I believe that a love of reading and learning can be fostered in a child starting with the first book. The moment a youngster locks his gaze on an illustration in a picture book, while responding to a familiar voice reading the story, is a pivotal opportunity to kindle the flame of learning.


As an author, I use my imagination and creative thinking to bring my sometimes personal stories and memories to life in engaging, realistic, and entertaining ways for all readers. I value using story as the one constant innovative practice that remains powerfully instrumental for children, adults, and learners of all ages.

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        Dana  Gambardella           


From early childhood, my attraction to literacy was nurtured by my parents, who were educators. I have worked for over 21 years with elementary and high school students as a Reading Specialist and Consultant, having graduated from Providence College with a master’s degree in Literacy and an undergraduate degree in Special and Elementary Education.

An avid young reader, born and raised in North Providence, Rhode Island, which I refer to as the Italian culinary hub of the east coast. I became a reflective writer and thinker in my teens, processing and savoring cherished memories, feelings, and experiences.

Time spent with my paternal grandmother jump-started my other passion—cooking. How do Italians communicate? With food, of course! Food and literacy thus became intertwined early on, and reading was not just an independent activity, but also a social act that connected me with people and ignited the communication of ideas and interests. When not vetting young adult books for students, writing, working, or walking my boxer, Bruno, I can usually be found in the kitchen, preparing a delicious meal for family and friends.

I remain equally connected to my passion for education and the culinary arts. Hence my company’s name: Literacy Chef Publishing. I tell my students and colleagues that being an enthusiastic chef and a reading specialist are not so different. Experts in both areas need to combine the right ingredients and practices to create a successful recipe—one that reaches and resonates with many individual palettes and learners.

I continually develop and implement research-based practices in literacy education. Recognizing how personal a child’s story can be for the developing or struggling reader, I also embrace the read-aloud experience, using children's books as mentor texts when working with readers of all ages.


Picture Book # 1: Mama Bear's Magic


Delight in Mama Bear's Magic as Tiny Bear realizes that bath time can be a beary good time! 

"Mama Bear Magic warms my heart as Mama Bear uses her magic on Baby Bear to not be afraid to take a bath."  - Tammi Titus, Author

"Anyone who has had to give a young child a bath and convince them to do it will appreciate the charm of this story."  - Ross Chirico, Graphic Artist

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Picture Book # 2: Grandma's House


Savor the sounds, tastes, smells and feelings that come to life only at Grandma's House - a memoir that transcends time and cultures. 

"I was raised by an Italian family and spent a lot of time with my grandmother. This story reminded me of some lovely moments in my life." - Ross Chirico, Graphic Artist

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Rhode Island, USA

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