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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 March, 2005, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Children to crack Da Vinci Code
Who Can Crack the Leonardo da Vinci code?
The book's title takes its lead from The Da Vinci Code
A children's book about Leonardo Da Vinci is set to capitalise on the success of Dan Brown's best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code.

Who Can Crack The Leonardo Da Vinci Code? is touted as "more historical" than the Brown novel, which has been condemned by some Catholic churchmen.

The book, by Austrian writer Thomas Brezina, gives young readers puzzles to solve in an "interactive adventure".

Brown's mystery has sold 2.2 million copies to date in the UK alone.

A spokesman for Prestel Publishing, which came up with the idea to link the new book with the best-seller, said it was a "marketing tool" which is common in publishing nowadays.


"It was done to tap into parents' excitement about The Da Vinci Code," he said, adding that similarities to the novel are few.

"It's not in the Dan Brown mould of conspiracy theories and there will be nothing about the Holy Grail.

"But it is an eventful story. Anyone who read his book would need to read this one as it is about Leonardo Da Vinci and his life," he added.

Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown
The Da Vinci Code has made author Dan Brown a household name

Author Brezina, who is an ambasador for Unicef, says children have reacted positively to having their own code to crack, and needed an interactive adventure to generate enthusiasm for Da Vinci.

The book, which is released in the UK in May, supplies young readers with their own code-cracking scroll, a foil mirror and set of riddles to explore the life of the Renaissance master.

Their objective is to uncover the secret with which they can save a Museum of Adventures from where they are transported back in time.

Dan Brown's novel Angels and Demons has been attracting tourists to the Vatican, while The Da Vinci Code was recently condemned as "lies" by the Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa.

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