Friday, April 18, 2014

The Adventures of Bella and Harry: Visit Barcelona..... Visit Venice..... Visit Rome... (Review and Giveaway)

The world is a big place and full of cultural diversity and interesting sights to see. Children need to learn about this wondrous world - the civilizations, the history, the peoples, the climates, the geography, and the food. Well, author, Lisa Manzione and illustrator, Kristine Lucco will bring the world to your door step courtesy of Bella and Harry.

About the series: The Adventures of Bella & Harry is a picture book series that chronicles the escapades of a pup named Bella, her little brother Harry and their family, who travel the world exploring the sights and sounds of new, exciting cities. The “Bella & Harry” series is intended to be an informative, interactive and exciting way to introduce children to travel, different countries, customs, history and landmarks with the educational value of this book cleverly disguised amidst dozens of illustrated pages which are sure to win the hearts of young readers.

First stop today is Venice:  

I think “Let’s Visit Venice” is probably my favorite of all the Adventures of Bella & Harry books. I simply love the illustrations and the story line. There is so much to explore and the two Chihuahua siblings and “their children” explore it all.

The factoids are explained satisfactorily for the young age group for which the book is intended. The illustrations, bright, bold, and definitive are entertaining as well since they capture the essence of the two little dogs.

This entertaining and educational book does a good job of introducing the reader to Italy and hence Venice and all that the lovely, historic city encompasses. Not too much information, but enough.

Next stop is Rome! 

In “Let’s Visit Rome” we are still in Europe and specifically still in Italy.  Italy is so packed with significant history, that Bella and Harry are bound to learn a lot as well as “their children.”  The story begins with Harry dressed as and pretending to be a gladiator. Then we get a picture and some factoids about Roman gladiators from long-ago history.

Bella and Harry visit the famous Roman buildings and areas such as the Colosseum and  Palatine Hill that overlooks the Roman Forum.

But Rome is not all history. It is today and today’s food.  There is also the Trevi Fountain in which they splashed a bit.

This is another in the enjoyable series of Adventures of Bella and Harry books and filled with entertaining goodies.

But there are more places to visit today and next we're going to go to...Barcelona: 

Just as Rome and Venice are in Italy and part of Europe, Barcelona is in Spain and is part of Europe. Barcelona sits on the edge of Spain bounded by the Mediterranean. Keep in mind that Italy is a “boot” and surrounded by the Mediterranean. So Rome, Venice, and Barcelona are all situated in fairly close to each other.

In Bella and Harry’s visit to Barcelona, they first of all encounter some of the art of the city and the famous church, Sagrada Familia.

The illustrations of the Barcelona book are vivid and strong as usual for Bella and Harry books, but they seem to have a type of surrealism.   As in all of the Bella and Harry books, there is a list of words using the language of the city/country and the English equivalent.

As Chat With Vera's readers already know, I love it when a young child's book is entertaining as well as educational. There is such a dearth of instruction in the schools and text books today, that children are not gaining knowledge of the world in which they live, where countries are located, what country is neighbor to another, what the cultural aspects of the population is, what the land mass is, and if it is dissected by rivers or surrounded by water. It is sad. But there are some books on the market that you can use to enlighten and bring the world home to your special child. Recently, I reviewed some books that are a great introduction to social studies and cultures. Then I also reviewed two very large books of maps (or atlas) featuring pictures of the history, peoples, animals, land formations, etc. Chat With Vera wants children to learn about their world.

Now to travel with Bella & Harry ... got your passport?

Each of these books is beautifully printed in bold colors and hardbound. They have a map that positions the city you're visiting. You learn about the famous buildings, rivers. You see what they eat, what they wear. There are a few words in the back in the language of that city/country with their meaning. And the illustrations are a real joy.

GIVEAWAY: This will make a wonderful gift for that special child in your life. Use the Rafflecopter entry form and let's see who can win a living room-travel-set for a child. All 3 of these books to one winner! Begins April 18  & ENDS May 19 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to USA mainland addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the author & illustrator: Lisa Manzione, Author
- The Bella and Harry series of children's books is Lisa Manzione's first foray into children's fiction writing. As a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Lisa's entrance into the field of literature is one she has eagerly awaited and is very passionate about.

The series was developed with the hope of inspiring young readers to embrace the world and encourage its exploration. Done through the comedic and informative adventures of Bella and Harry, while traveling through various countries, Lisa hopes to stimulate children's imaginations and foster a thirst for understanding the world in which they live

Kristen Lucco, Illustrator - Born in rural Pennsylvania, Kristine's passion for art began at a young age. This interest in art continued and ultimately led Kristine to study at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

Her talent was quickly recognized as extraordinary by local designers and today, over 20 years later, Kristine's art and designs adorn walls and a myriad of other surfaces all over south Florida.


  1. Hi Vera, had some problems with the Raffelcopter but did the best I could. Thanks for your giveaway. These books really look fun. And I have been to Barcelona and loved it!

    1. Sonja- Sorry you had difficulties with Rafflecopter. I just did a trial run through the entry form and it is working fine. Let me know what your issues were, please

  2. No I have not been to any of these countries, but if I was younger and more mobile, I would love to see Venice, Italy, I am sure it is beautiful and I love seeing shows about it, but I would love to share these countries and visits with my granddaughters.

  3. I have not been to any of these cities I would love to go to Rome to see all the historical places.

  4. I've never been to any of these cities, buy my great grandparents are from Italy.

  5. I haven't been to any of these 3 cities yet.

  6. I went to Rome with my 9th grade Latin Club - I'd love to go back!

  7. We haven't been to these cities, but Rome is definitely on our list, and so is Barcelona!
    Thanks for joining us at Kidlit Bloghop this week.
    -Reshama @ Stackingbooks

  8. I've never visited any of these lovely cities but have a dream of visiting Venice some day!

  9. I've never been to these cities but would LOVE to go sometime!

  10. I've been to Spain but not Barcelona. Venice and Rome are both on my wishlist, but so far the Lord has given me a tour of Southeast Asia, so we'll see where he leads! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!

  11. I would love to visit all three but will definitely choose Barcelona. Ever since taking Spanish in 7th grade (decades ago!) from a teacher directly from Spain, I have always wanted to go there.

  12. I havent been to any of these cities. I would like to visit Rome.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

  13. I've never visited any of these cities, but I'd love to visit Rome!

  14. I haven't been to any of them, but I would love to travel to Venice!

  15. I have not been anywhere out of the US, except for a military deployment.... I'd love to travel though!!!

  16. No I have not, but, am hoping to win these books for my grandaughter who is 6 will go to one of these wonderful cities. Thank you for the awesome chance.

  17. No, I have never gone to any of these cities. I would love to go to Rome and look at the ancient buildings.

  18. I've never traveled to any of those places, but I would choose Rome! Would to love to actually see the history of Rome in person!

  19. No, but I would love to visit Barcelona. I will just add it to the list of places we have yet to visit!

  20. I hope my previous comment came through - but I have never been to Barcelona. It seemed like such a cool place during the olympics. I would like to visit there! -Sarah K.

  21. I have not been to any of these places but would love to go to Venice.
    annejk112233 at yahoo dot com

  22. No but my dream vacation is scuba diving in Australia.

  23. No, I've never been to any of them. :(

  24. I have not been anywhere but would love to see Venice...

  25. I have not been to any of the places yet but I want to go to Venice.

  26. I have not been to any of these but would love to go to Rome

  27. I have visited Rome and Barcelona. Rome was my favorite. It is interesting to view the ancient and the modern existing side by side. We were told that the Roman aqueducts were still in use!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  28. i would love to travel there someday

  29. i haven't visited either but i would love to travel to both, especially venice.

  30. Vera,
    First, thanks for hosting such a lovely giveaway.
    Second, I received my books yesterday and the pictures on your page don't do them justice. The illustrations are beautiful and my daughter was tickled pink that Mommy won something for her. She liked them so much she took them to school today for show and tell!
    Keep up the good work.


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