The Crystal Navigator is a middle grade fantasy in the classic tradition of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland that celebrates the power of imagination. Eleven year old Lucy Nightingale is a special little girl. She can make things with her thoughts. However, she lost her confidence when her mind went blank during an oral report. Then a dazzling new teacher assigns another report about five paintings. Convinced that the only way to get an A on this assignment is to actually talk to the artists, Lucy summons a Wise One to help her with time travel. Her Wise One shows up in the form of a loveable, well-spoken, befuddled Corgi named Wilbur. He wears spectacles and reads brochures about liquid mirrors. With Wilbur’s magic gadget, the Navigator, to guide them, Lucy and Wilbur fly back to fifteenth-century Florence. The journey turns perilous when the Navigator contracts a virus and propels the two friends into the wrong time. In triumphing over the obstacles Wilbur sets in her way, Lucy finds her self-confidence and more. So, if you know someone who has always wanted to fly, someone who likes cutting edge magic gadgets, someone who would agree that the best way to escape from an ogress is to jump into the nearest painting; if you know someone who might like the idea of helping Leonardo da Vinci entertain an unruly teenager named Lisa while he tries to paint her smiling, and finally if you know someone like Lucy, who loves school, but who is afraid of oral reports because her confidence walked out on her, then you know someone who will love The Crystal Navigator. This book will appeal to anyone who loves art, as it brings five famous painters and their art to life. The book will thrill and educate young readers about the value of viewing life as a journey and the magic that lives inside each of us.
Nancy Kunhardt Lodge has a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Art History. For the past twenty years she taught at Tufts, Boston, and American Universities. She has written scholarly articles and delivered papers at Renaissance conferences in Italy and the U.S., among them the Frick Collection of Art, the Corcoran Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program. She is a member of SCBWI and the College Art Association. She has written four picture books and is working on the second novel in a series about Lucy’s dare devil adventures. Dr. Lodge is the granddaughter of Dorothy Kunhardt, author of the children’s classic, Pat the Bunny. She lives in West Newbury, MA with her husband and two Corgis, Wilbur and Charlotte.