The Genius Of Leonardo Da Vinci
Artist, engineer, pacifist, inventor: Leonardo da Vinci was a genius of a very particular kind. This introduction to his life and work is vividly retold through the eyes of his young apprentice, Giacomo, making it easy for young readers to relate to his story.
This engaging picture-book biography of Leonardo da Vinci is told from the perspective of his 10-year-old assistant, Giacomo. He looks on in wonder as Leonardo paints the Mona Lisa, designs a flying machine–and, less impressively, plays practical jokes on him. The basics of Leonardo’s life are all here, including his habit of buying and releasing caged birds and his reluctant move, late in life, to the French court. But young readers will learn most about da Vinci’s ideas–on painting, science, and the nature of time. Cleverly interleaved with short quotations from the master’s own writings, The Genius of Leonardo leaves a vivid impression of what it must have been like for a child to be an apprentice to such a genius. A nice touch is that Leonardo doesn’t know everything: Giacomo’s last question, about the moon, is beyond him, and Leonardo’s assistant is left to speculate about knowledge and inventions yet to come. As in the spectacular A Boy Named Giotto, Bimba Landmann’s gorgeous paintings are melancholy and oddly–but strangely aptly–medieval looking. (Ages 9 and older) –Richard Farr
About the Author:
Guido Visconti taught in Italy for some years after earning a degree in literature and philosophy,. He left Italy for India in 1985 to pursue his interest in Eastern philosophies. He has been living there ever since, directing a village school with his wife.
Bimba Landman has been an illustrator since 1988. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages and she has won prestigious awards in many countries. She lives in Milan, Italy.