Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Eyes like stars

Eyes like stars

Lisa Mantchev
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Feiwel and Friends, 2009   ISBN: 0312380968

Beatrice Shakespeare Smith lives in a theatre, the Theatre Illuminata. It is a very unusual theatre because it is also home to every character from every play every written. These “players” can never leave the theatre. Instead ,they are bound to the building by The Book, which contains the scripts that they have to perform when called upon.

For as long as she can remember Beatrice has lived in the theatre, even though she is not a player and she is not management. She has been told that she turned up on the doorstep when she was very little and that the Theatre Manager took pity on her and let her stay. Beatrice loves her home, but she cannot help wishing that she knew where she came from. Who were her parents and why was she left at the theatre?

Beatrice is now seventeen and her pranks have finally caught up with her. After an incident involving a canon, the Stage Manager demands that Beatrice leave the theatre. Beatrice begs the Theatre Manager to let her stay ,and he agrees to consider her request if she proves to him that her presence would be an asset to the theatre. Frantically Beatrice tries to find a role for herself, and she decides that she will be a Director. She will produce a play in a new and exciting way.

Unfortunately, just as Beatrice is fighting for her right to stay, Ariel (the mischievous spirit from The Tempest) decides to steal The Book. He hopes to find a way to sever his connection with the theatre so that he can escape out into the world. Now Beatrice and her friends  have to find a way to secure her future and save the theatre.

This very usual story will take readers on a wild and magical ride through a bizarre theatrical world. Readers will get to meet Hamlet, Ophelia, several very annoying fairies, a dashing pirate, and many other familiar characters. With her blue hair and her every present quarter of fairy friends, Beatrice is a delightfully irresistible character.

This title is a must for readers who are interested in plays and the theatre, and it is the first book in what promises to be a very exciting trilogy.