Title: Leonardo da Vinci
Author: Diane Stanley
Major Themes: Artists, Florence, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci, Painting
Synopsis: The life and times of Leonardo da Vinci are portrayed with a lively story and beautiful paintings.
We just read Leonardo da Vinci as part of our study of the Renaissance. Sonlight Curriculum actually has Diane Stanley’s Michelangelo scheduled instead, but so much nudity is portrayed in his paintings that my husband didn’t want me to use that book. I substituted this one about Leonardo instead.
Leonardo was a very talented man. He was a great artist—when he felt like painting! He was also a great sculptor—when he felt like sculpting. His great love, however, was inventing. He drew plans for all kinds of different devices, most many years or even centuries ahead of his time. He was rather eccentric, and couldn’t do things the way most people did. For example, he was commissioned to paint a wall in the dining hall of the local monastary. Being Leonardo da Vinci, he couldn’t paint the picture the way other people would have…he had to invent a new way to paint it, with tragic results.
You’ll enjoy reading this book with your young children. The story is engaging, and the pictures are wonderful, glowing full-color paintings that bring Leonardo and his times to life.
WARNING: Leonardo’s illegitimate birth is mentioned.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12