cover image Looking for Daniela: A Romantic Adventure

Looking for Daniela: A Romantic Adventure

Steven Kroll, Anita Lobel. Holiday House, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0695-1

Antonio performs each day in the piazza, juggling, walking a tightrope and playing his guitar, while the villagers laugh and throw coins. Sometimes he slips away to dance with his friend Daniela. But one morning, he finds that Daniela has been kidnapped by bandits who want the family fortune. Antonio sails off after them in a borrowed boat, receives lucky clues and without much trouble discovers the inn where the wicked bandits are drinking the night away. ``Saucy Daniela!'' says one. ``Good thing we locked the upstairs room!'' says another. Nimble Antonio throws his tightrope over a handy tree limb and makes the obligatory moonlight rescue. Following a few more convenient occurrences, Antonio and Daniela ride home in a hot-air balloon. This episodic plot packs in plenty of action against an Italian renaissance setting, delicately rendered in Lobel's detailed illustrations. Her Antonio and Daniela enliven the stagey drama, playing their roles with aplomb. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)