Oh, you are a cute book. Witches and wonder and everything I could have asked for in a story was here for my delight.
Warren the 13th is the lone bellhop, valet, waiter, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family’s ancient hotel. It’s a strange, shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and mysterious riddles—and it just might be home to a magical object known as the All-Seeing Eye. Can Warren decipher the clues and find the treasure before his sinister Aunt Annaconda (and a slew of greedy hotel guests) beats him to it?
This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery. from Goodreads.
Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is written by Tania Del Rio and illustrated by Will Staehle and is CUTE. I am far from the pickiest reader but lately I have really truly struggled to sit down and sink into a book. I really enjoyed The Subtle Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness but I was working at paying attention. You know, the kind of effort you make when you are reading an assignment? I wasn’t relaxed or transported even though I really loved it. It is almost as if my reading skills need a work out plan. This is absolutely not the fault of the author. I am scattered once again under personal stress and finding the calm to enjoy reading has been elusive and erratic since March 2020.
But Warren…..hello beautiful escape! This middle grade fantasy falls somewhere between a novel and a graphic novel and I absolutely could not get enough. Warren is an orphan and his ridiculous Uncle has married a clearly evil woman named Anaconda. Warren is the only person who takes care of his family’s hotel and he does so with the dedication that is admirable. Honestly, it reminded me that caring for this book blog is more for me than for my guests. But when guests arrive – joy!
Watching Warren navigate new guests, possible friends (maybe?), and the tumultuous mystery of the missing all-seeing eye was so much fun. So. Much. Fun. Like reading should be. And the illustrations and graphics are fantastic and had a way of giving my scattered and easily distracted brain a blip of art that built the story and kept me interested. Like a dip in and out of Instagram without actually disrupting my reading.
Reading has always kept me company in long stretches of loneliness and this whole pandemic reading has been a huge struggle for me. Finding ways to find solace and joy in reading this year will probably continue to be a challenge but, I hope, in the end it will also make me more mindful of the struggles for other readers.
Thankfully, there are TWO more Warren books. I have already cracked into the second one and it is shaping up to be just as amazing as the first.
Tell me, please! Any tips or tricks when you mind wandered while reading?