A richly textured world and wildly different paths are the setting for the adventures of identical twins Laurenzo and Jiacomo in this charming book from Tonke Dragt. From childhood through to their choosing of careers, the brothers find themselves caught up in various exploits which include mistaken identity, both brothers falling in love with the same girl, and a mysterious case of some stolen flour. Woven into the story are clever allusions to classical mythology and a hoard of other stories which children will find fresh and delightful.
The author’s original work in Dutch is deftly translated by Laura Watkinson, who conveys the story in unadorned and disarmingly simple prose. The production values of the book are extremely high, carrying Dragt’s original illustrative materials on the dust covers and throughout the text. Children will be enthralled by the gently exotic environment in which Laurenzo and Jiacomo live, and the meandering pace at which their story unfolds, allowing them to absorb a totally different world. Parents and teachers will also enjoy the reprieve that The Goldsmith and the Master Thief affords from the frenetic pace of our modern world. A captivating tale, beautifully told, and delightfully presented.