Title: Red Sails to Capri
Author: Ann Weil
Major Themes: Capri, Italy
Synopsis: When three strangers visit Capri in the winter, Michele ends up having the biggest adventure of his life.
Red Sails to Capri is one of my favorite books to read aloud! I had forgotten how fun it is until I started reading it aloud for the third time, a couple of weeks ago. The first few chapters, especially, have a lot of dialect in the conversations, and it is great fun trying to imitate it. In fact, the dialog is what really makes this book.
In the beginning of the story, Michele is talking to Angelo when he suddenly sees a boat. Not an ordinary boat, such as one sees every day around Capri, the small island off the coast of Italy near Naples, but a boat with red sails! When three strangers disembark, Angelo helps Michele to see that he must make sure the strangers stay at his parent’s inn. A series of events is set in motion which leads to the three strangers, Angelo, Michele, and his father investigating the secret cove which no one on Capri will so much as talk about. What is so mysterious and frightening in the cove? Will the adventurers emerge unhurt?
Red Sails to Capri is a memorable introduction to a little-known part of the world. I definitely recommend it as a read-aloud for children, rather than handing it to them to read. Probably a third of the story is dialog!
WARNING: The expression “By Jove!” is used once, on page 53.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults