Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 8
- Grade: k to 3
The Mona Lisa Caper is based on true events that began to unfold on Monday, August 21, 1911, when Vincenzo Perugia shocked the world by stealing the most famous of the many treasures in the Louvre.
Though Vincenzo was a thief, he meant well. He simply wanted to return the painting to the Italian people in the mistaken belief that it had been stolen from them. Eventually, inevitably, Vincenzo was captured in Florence and put on trial. Italians gave him their hearts for his patriotism. In fact, he received so much food, wine, clothing, and furniture, that he had to be moved to a larger cell!
Throughout Rick Jacobson’s lively text, Mona Lisa herself narrates the story of her trip back to the city of her creation. The playful art Rick has painted along with his wife, Laura Fernandez, heightens the fun. Not only is it Keystone-Cops funny, it is a sound introduction to the painting that continues to delight, amaze, and mystify hundreds of years after Leonardo da Vinci’s death.
About the authors
Rick Jacobson and Laura Fernandez are an award-winning design team and illustrators in their own right. Their work appears in corporate and private collections as well as in those of the French Government and The Royal Geographical Society in London, England. Together they operate a studio, the Jacobson Fernandez Partnership. They often work as a team on joint projects, including their thirteen published books. Rick and Laura live in Toronto with their three children.
The Mona Lisa CaperWhen Mona Lisa is stolen from the Louvre, she enjoys going home to Italy. Based on a true event, this is a playful look at the possibilities behind the facts of a famous missing treasure.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2006.