Sunday, 17 April 2016

Venice in Children's Books - Emma Barnes

I've escaped!  Actually, by the time you read this I will most likely be home again and my first trip to Venice will be receding like a dream. But meanwhile, I have a chance to muse, to relax and to refill the well of inspiration (while pigging out on ice cream).

Because of the peculiar way my mind works, when I knew I was going to Venice I started thinking about which children's books were set there, and to my surprise could hardly think of any - Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord being the main exception.  (I also remembered Diana Wynne Jones's Magicians of Caprona - but that is surely a fantasy version of Venice's near neighbour, Verona.) So I started doing some digging, and happily I've discovered there are quite a few Venetian tales.  So if you are taking children to Venice, or simply want to bury yourself in children's books that are set there, here is a selection.  I haven't read most of them, which means that I will have plenty of books on my reading list when I get home.

Picture Books

Younger Fiction

Rose and the Magician's Mask by Holly Webb
The Mermaid's Sister by Holly Webb
The Waterhorse by Holly Webb
The Mystery in Venice (Geronimo Stilton, No. 48)
The Merchant of Venice (children's version) by William Shakespeare
Othello (children's version) by William Shakespeare
The Phantom of Venice (Nancy Drew Book 78) by Carolyn Keene
LionBoy: The Chase by Zizou Corder
The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo
Heartsong by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Young Adult

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Stravaganza - City of Masks by Mary Hoffman
Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli
For the Love of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli
Shylock's Daughter by Mirjam Pressler
The Undrowned Child by Michelle Lovric
The Fate in the Box by Michelle Lovric
Talina in the Tower by Michelle Lovric
The Mourning Emporium by Michelle Lovric
The Flowing Queen (Trilogy) by Kai Meyer
Seeking Crystal by Joss Stirling


I don't want to expand too much into adult fiction.  But Brideshead Revisited is one book that I adored as a teenager, and the romantic settings, including Venice (home of Lord Marchmain and his mistress) were a big part of the appeal.

So which are your Venetian favourites?


Emma's Website
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Emma on Twitter - @EmmaBarnesWrite

Emma's Wild Thing series for 8+ about the naughtiest little sister ever. (Illustrated by Jamie Littler)
"Hilarious and heart-warming" The Scotsman

 Wolfie is a story of wolves, magic and snowy woods...
(Illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark)
"Funny, clever and satisfying..." Books for Keeps


Joan Lennon said...

Ah, Venice! Thanks for this great book selection!

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Thanks for a hugely comprehensive list! Very soon you'll be able to add THE GLASSMAKER"S DAUGHTER. Illustrated by Jane Ray, written by me and published by Frances Lincoln, it comes out next year but thanks to Jane, gorgeous dummy and proofs already in my hands! How wonderful it is to see words that have been in one's head so longgggg... change into images.