Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio & Will Staehle

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Title: Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye
Author: Tania del Rio
Illustrator: Will Staehle
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 224
Source: Hardcover provided by Penguin Random House Canada
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Overall: 4 STARS

Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Annaconda took over the management. Annaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat 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. 

Ever since Warren the 13th's father passed away and his uncle became his guardian, the Warren Hotel has steadily fallen into disrepair. Uncle Rupert is lazy and loves to nap, but most troubling is that he's too smitten with his new wife to notice there's something seriously off about her. Aunt Annaconda is searching for a treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye, upending the furniture and floorboards of the hotel in her obsession to find it.

Warren is a sweet, endearing twelve-year-old boy living a very unconventional life. He's the Warren Hotel's sole bellhop, handyman, valet, and all-around errand boy. His father instilled the importance of hard work to his son, but Warren can't help feeling worried his uncle's incompetence will harm his beloved hotel, especially now that Aunt Annaconda has entered their lives.

Warren remembers when the Warren Hotel was popular and bustling with guests, but the staff eventually left and only the head chef and his tutor have faithfully remained. So when a silent, mysterious guest arrives at the hotel, he couldn't be more excited. Finally! A guest! But Aunt Annaconda's two sisters have also come to help search for the All-Seeing Eye, and following right behind them, a slew of peculiar guests seeking the treasure too... Can Warren complete his endless chores, decipher the clues, and find the All-Seeing Eye before the Warren Hotel is completely overwhelmed?

Will Staehle's beautiful illustrations perfectly complement the text of the story. I definitely appreciate the thoughtfulness of the book's design to capture our hearts and imagination, and encourage a more interactive reading experience. Captivating illustrations decorate each page, and each new chapter is introduced with a more elaborate design in red, white, and black. I loved turning the pages to discover what I would see next! 

Fantasy meets steampunk, Tania del Rio & Will Staehle's Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is a delightfully charming MG adventure that comes to life right before your very eyes. Magical and heartwarming, readers of all ages will fall in love with Warren the 13th and his mission to save his family's hotel from the grasps of his evil aunt!

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