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.
CHILDREN'S AUTHOR. READING SPECIALIST. CONSULTANT. LITERACY CHEF.
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.
EMBRACING A LIFETIME OF LITERACY. LIVING TO LEARN. LOVING MY PROCESS.
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
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
Rhode Island, USA