Author(s): Dianne Hofmeyr
Princess Daniela is grumpy and never laughs, and her father promises a beautiful glass palace to the man who can make her laugh.The best glassmakers in the city create a swirling tower of a palace, and men come from far and wide to try their luck in amusing Princess Daniela. But Maestro Filippino with his swords and snakes, and Signore Guisepe with his growling carved tiger and Professore Alchemista with his secret potions cannot raise a smile from the princess.It is only when young Angelo pulls a molten goblet out of the fire, splits it and spreads it with slivers of silvery mercury to create a secret object that the princess breaks into a smile.She sees a funny creature in the glass - which is in fact her reflection. Angelo has made the very first looking glass. The glass palace splinters to smithereens from the sound of Daniela's laughter, and the whole of Venice rejoices.
"Include this book as part of a story hour featuring Italian lore or encourage slightly older readers to search for stories that feature similar motifs" * School Library Connection * "Rich illustrations, a familiar fairy-tale structure, and an upbeat message make this story a visually attractive, comfortable read." * Kirkus Reviews * "Written with a narrative framework reminiscent of folktales, the story proceeds at a measured pace to its resoundingly happy ending. The artwork, created in watercolor, gouache, and ink, features richly detailed, imaginatively realized settings in sixteenth-century Venice." * Booklist *
Dianne Hofmeyr grew up on the tip of Southern Africa. She has written teenage novels and picture books, and has won the M-Net Award for fiction. Her other works include The Faraway Island, The Star Bearer and The Magic Bojabi Tree.Jane Ray's distinctive style has established her as a highly successful artist both for her paintings and her wrapping paper and cards. Increasingly well known as an illustrator, her picture books have attracted enormous attention around the world. Jane is the illustrator of Ahmed and the Feather Girl, she lives in London.