Monday, October 17, 2011

"The Genius of Leonardo" picture book find

I love to use picture books as an introduction or summary of a particular topic. I was surprised and delighted to find this at our local library. As part of our readings for history we are reading "the Second Mrs Gioconda". This book is a fictional representation of the life of Leonardo de Vinci. (Now I have heard some negative reviews by homeschoolers of this book because it mentions one character's unfaithfulness to his wife but again I think if you are reading this to older children it can give you a good opportunity to discuss such topics as trust and commitment. Again I don't think a book has to ascribe to my world philosophy for it to be worthwhile in our homeschool. )
I enjoy reading books by E.L Konigsburg for myself but I think she is a fabulous author for older children.Books by her always encourage lots of discussion!
However back to my picture book find. It is described as being written by Guido Visconti with quotations from the notebooks of Leonardo. The artist's illustrations are supurb. one reviewer says:"When I first saw the cover and title for this book, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like it. The illustrations did not remind me of Leonardo Da Vinci. I was ready to be disappointed. Instead, I was surprised when I found myself enjoying the book.

I like the portrayal of Leonardo and his apprentice. The genius of the man is portrayed while still keeping him imperfect. Leonardo doesn't have answers for all of life's questions. Still, the book reminded me how fascinating math and science can be while reminding me why the Renaissance is such a fascinating time in history.
All around, this is a wonderful book."
another states"The illustrations by Bimba Landmann are amazing, making the book a work of art. The text is meaty, telling us a lot about Leonardo and his ideas (with direct quotes). Kids will relate to the mischievous character of Giacomo, Leonardo's 10-year-old assistant, who frequently annoys his famous boss. I would recommend this book for anyone age 6 to adult!"(reviews from Amazon)I think this is a book worth re-reading long after our history study has been completed.

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