Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brave Donatella and the Jasmine Thief by Caroline McAlister

This is a charming picture book published by Charlesbridge (who provided my review copy) and illustrated by Donald Hendricks.

Mr. Hendricks' illustrations give the story a visual life that carries the reader along page by page.

The story is based on a legend about the real Duke Cosimo, who collected plants for his garden and guarded them jealously. No one was allowed to share their beauty - they belonged to HIM.

Antonio was a foolish gardener who was in love with Donatella, but had nothing to offer her in marriage. He wanted to give her a gift that was as unique as she was to him, so he stole a sprig of jasmine. Of course, the Duke discovers his loss and he imprisons the youth.

Donatella is brave and also loves Antonio, so she works on a way to save him...

There is a section at the back of the book that goes into the history of the Duke and offers a bibliography for further reading.

While this story is based on a real person, it reads a lot like a fairy tale and children will enjoy the story. This book is currently available at your local bookstore. Share a copy with those you love.

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