Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Review: Warren the 13th

Come to the Warren for the illustrations, but stay for the story. Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye hits bookshelves today, and it's a must-give-gift for your book lovers this holiday season.

This is likely to be the most beautiful book you'll see this fall. Gleaming foil embossing kisses the cover and every page...you heard me...EVERY PAGE brings you perfectly vintage feeling illustrations and graphics to unfold this story.

It's beautiful. Find one. Touch it.

Nobody is ever too old for a book with pictures.

This is the brain child of illustrator Will Staehle, whose story lay in his mind and drawings and was brought to life with words lent by Tania del Rio.

Warren is a kid running a dilapidated hotel with his uncle under the menacing watch of his uncle's new wife who seems to have sinister motives. A mysterious guest and ensuing adventures leave questions at every turn.

What Warren lacks in looks, he makes up for in heart.

When I first got it, I flipped through its pages and admired the art. It can only be called that. Art. Staehle is a gifted artist and this book is filled with pages your eyes will enjoy exploring. It carries the weight of an instant classic, a book you feel has been around forever, and one that children love pulling off the shelf time after time because they loved it so much the first seven times. I kept it for myself at first, rendering my children jealouser and jealouser until I snapped it shut with finality.

My favorite illustration. Those are tattoos, BTW.

"OMIGOSH. I cannot BELIEVE it!!! I know the secret of the All Seeing Eye. And you don't."

Yes. I never miss an opportunity to motivate my children to read, even if it's in a very immature neener-neener-chicken-weiner manner.

They fought over who would be the next to read it. I stepped in to referee and offered a solution. I would read it to them together during our usual bedtime reading slot. They both agreed.

It gave us many discussion opportunities for new vocabulary words. Dumbwaiter, ascend, descend. References to some old-timey things. Discussion around Warren himself and how despite how others treat him, he persistently plugs along, always being kind and doing the right thing. Guesses about what will happen next....I have a strict two chapter maximum then it's lights OUT.

Every chapter greets you with clues

A hearty congrats and job well done to del Rio, Staehle, and the people at Quirkbooks for making this story come to life. I urge anyone looking for a fresh literary gift idea to check it out. You'll fall in love.

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