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Time Travel, Gadgets & Art's Hidden Meanings Collide, as Epic New Middle-Grade Fantasy Novel Celebrates the Power of Imagination & Perseverance

Masterfully crafted by Nancy Kunhardt Lodge, ‘The Crystal Navigator’ takes young readers back in time to meet five famous real-world artists, learn to appreciate their work, and discover the true power of their boundless imagination. Pink moons, liquid mirrors, and a curious dog named Wilbur await in an Alice in Wonderland-esque adventure that readers are dying to see make it in Hollywood.


Pasadena, MD -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/05/2014 -- Even in an age where just about any fact or piece of information is available at the click of a mouse, nobody expects Middle-Graders to know artistic legends such as Van Gough, da Vinci and Michelangelo. However, in a spellbinding and educational new book, young readers get to meet these masters of creativity through a time travel adventure that fuses historical fact and allegorical truths with all of the quirkiness nine to twelve year-olds demand.

‘The Crystal Navigator’ covers issues of vital importance to its target readers such as loss of confidence, the link between perseverance and success, as well as imagination’s limitless potential; all while meeting some of the most talented artists who offer bold lessons of their own.


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.

“The allegorical truths about some of the world’s most famous paintings transcend art itself to serve up vital inspiration for all areas of life,” explains Lodge, whose grandmother wrote the globally-renowned children’s book ‘Pat the Bunny’. “But teaching this by itself would admittedly be a little dry, hence why I have wrapped it up into a compelling time travel adventure that will have any young person’s light on well into the night.”

Readers agree, leaving a string of positive reviews. One reader comments, “Ms. Lodge establishes a colorful character with real-life issues of dealing with adolescence and learning and uses that conflict to explore the inner meaning of some of history's most famous art.”

Channing Penna adds, “The Crystal Navigator is a page turner packed with delicious imagination, originality and message. Through time travel, fantastical imagery, colorful characters and strange happenings Nancy Lodge not only takes us into the lives of Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Vincent van Gogh but also into their paintings! Her protagonists, Lucy and Wilbur, actually participate in their art, giving it a unique perspective.”

‘The Crystal Navigator’, from Wilwahren Press, is available now: http://amzn.to/WarnZZ.

For more information, visit the author’s official website: http://www.nancylodge.com.

About Nancy Kunhardt Lodge
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 the Washington D.C. area with her husband and two Corgis, Wilbur and Charlotte.