Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery

Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery

Douglas Cowling
Illustrator:  Laura Fernandez , Rick Jacobson 
Picture Book
For ages 8 and up
Scholastic Canada, 2004   ISBN: 978-0439969048

Katarina is beginning a new chapter in her life for she is going to live in the School of the Pieta in Venice, an orphanage which specializes in offering a home and support to musically gifted children. Katarina is a violin player and for her music helps to heal the hurt in her heart when she misses having a father and mother in her life.

When she arrives at the Pieta Katarina is delighted to find that the musician, composer and teacher, Antonio Vivaldi is there. She hears him play and is deeply moved by his skill. She also hears him tell the girls in the orphanage about a special gift that has been sent to the orphanage by the Duke of Cremona. It is a violin which the Duke hopes will help him find his missing grandchild, a child who was lost in a shipwreck many years ago.

Katarina soon finds herself caught up in the secrets which surround this remarkable instrument and she also discovers that a mysterious masked man seems to be following her around. Who is the masked man and why is he pursuing her? What lies behind the strange riddles that Katarina finds as she tries to put together the pieces of the mystery?

Written by the author of Hallelujah Handle this wonderful picture book captures the atmosphere of Venice during carnival and gives the reader a taste for the generosity of spirit which lay at the heart of Antonio Vivaldi.