Venice is the setting for many children’s books because of the uniqueness of the canals and the rich history. An American family has recently arrived in Venice while the father continues his studies. They take shelter from the rain in an antiques shop where Jared discovers a bag of worthless baubles. But are they? The old shopkeeper sees something in the three kids and allows them each to select one item. The girls each choose a ring and the boy, a die. All items hold the power to awaken parts of Venice to help them on their mission. But what is their mission? Ahhhh. Centuries ago, children were stolen from Venice by a monk preaching for a Children’s Crusade. The children of Venice were loaded onto ships, never to make it to the Holy Lands. They were imprisoned and it is up to the three children of the present to join forces with three children of the past to free them all. The children are helped by an odd assortment of sidekicks that are magically are called forth: a faun, a talking cat, a dragon, and the stone lions of Venice. At times the story was a bit too instructional. There seems to be a lot of explaining how characters feel and think and why they are doing what they are doing. A bit less of that would be preferred. An overall mission-packed adventure in Venice.
eGalley review Publication date 3.19.13