Leonardo da Vinci

by Diane Stanley

Other authorsDiane Stanley (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2000


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Call number

E 92 Le


HarperCollins (2000), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 48 pages


A biography of the Italian Renaissance artist and inventor who, at about age thirty, began writing his famous notebooks which contain the outpourings of his amazing mind.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member hwallen
A childrens book depicting the story and life of the famous artist, Leonardo da Vinci. Excellent for learning about or studying an art activity or the Renaissance period. Also, a great exploration of the unique life da Vinci had, which expresses difference and creativity to children.
LibraryThing member apandrow
I really enjoyed this book, especially for the pictures and the way it written. It seems as the though the writer fit in all the small, various, and wonderful details about Da Vinci's life effortlessly, and many of these details I knew nothing about. This book is one that can be read over and over
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by a child, staying entertained by the details and pictures and noticing new information about Da Vinci's life that they may have skimmed through in the first read. On another note, I did find the book broad and simplistic in the fact that the author mentioned these minor facts, but did not elaborate on them. For instance, when the author mentioned that Da Vinci was left-handed or briefly mentioning his "apprenticeship" relationship with his mentor, my adult brain couldn't help but ask questions, doubt, and want to know more information. Unfortunately, I find that the book neglects to bring to light some of the darker facts and evoke the inquisitive minds of children at higher reading/cognitive levels.
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LibraryThing member kls058
A book that content is directed to lower level readers that all ages will enjoy. A good tool for giving infromation to students about Leonardo's work. could use with art lesson, as well as history.
LibraryThing member Ms.Penniman
Retelling: Leonardo Da Vinci was born an illegitimate child to Ser Piero and a peasant woman named Caterina. Because of that status, he would not be admitted to school and received only a country education. After his mother died, he was raised in Ser Piero's grandfather's house where his Uncle
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Francesco took an interest in him. Ser Piero recognized Leonardo's talent for drawing and sent him to be an apprentice in Florence under Andrea del Verrocchio. He excelled at drawing and music and spent the rest of his life supported by various royal and noble patrons who commissioned him for projects. The author of this book describes Da Vinci's process, which frequently did not end in a finished project but lingered indefinitely on the planning and development stage. Meanwhile, he kept (now famous) notebooks where he drew sketches and designed inventions in backwards handwriting. (He was left-handed and found it easier to write this way). Leonardo died in 1519 under the Patronage of King Francis I of France.

Thoughts and Feelings: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this history of Leonardo da Vinci. Several parts stand out in my mind: When he said that when you are alone you belong only to yourself but when you are with even one other person only half of yourself belongs to you and when he said that the scholars who answer questions by referring to the bible or to the writings of the Ancient Greeks alone they are relying on memory only and not their minds.

I will give extra credit to anyone who can find one or more of the 6,000 pages still missing from Leonardo's notebooks and/or to anyone who writes a dramatic work of historical fiction about the quest to find them.
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LibraryThing member kirolsen
This is a book all about Leonardo da Vinci. Diane Stanley does a wonderful job making da Vinci's work and life accessible to children. I learned things I had not known about da Vinci! And the illustrations are tremendous!
LibraryThing member Hayley.Tuttle
This biography is very informative and an exciting story that is captured with beautiful illustrations.
LibraryThing member econnick
Diane Staley explores Leonardo da Vinci's life from his birth to his death. The pictures, although sometimes a bit misleading, are colorful and interesting. I could use this book as an example of biography and why they are important. How do we know what is fact or opinion? This book can also be
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used as a great insight into what to include in a biography. Should we only include interesting things, or can include less exciting or negative aspects of a person's life as well? These questions are important for students who will be reading various books on a certain subject.
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LibraryThing member kgeorge
"Leonardo Da Vinci" by Diane Stanley is a very informative book about Leonardo's life. It discusses not only his accomplishments but the hardships and personal struggles he dealt with in his life. The author focuses on Leonardo as a person, not just the artist, inventor, scientist, etc. This would
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be great as an introductory book about Leonardo Da Vinci. The illustrations help bring life to Leonardo's story.
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LibraryThing member jroy218
I loved this book by Diane Stanley. I thought she did an excellent job of delving deeper into da Vinci's other passions. She discussed his most important works as well as his movement throughout Europe. She gave some insight on how different his life was because he was a child of unmarried parents.
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I think this would be an excellent book to use in the classroom to teach children about the Renaissance. Also, it would give them a great look into art history within an art class. You could also extend what da Vinci discovered about mathematics and science across the curriculum. The illustrations make this book come alive!
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LibraryThing member dareone32988
For being a biography about a historical figure--not to mention one that is so well-known in popular culture--I really enjoyed this Stanley's book. I found myself in awe over aspects of da Vinci's life that I had not known about prior to reading this biography.

That being said, the biography
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succeeds in getting across important points about da Vinci's life to readers in an entertaining though brief manner. The paired illustrations work exceedingly well with the text as they draw the interest of the reader into the story even further. Although, some of the illustrations take liberties in suggesting how particular scenes in da Vinci's life may have appeared, which also leads readers to make assumptions. This leading of the reader coupled with a few assumptions made by Stanley throughout the text makes the book seem less accurate.

Despite any possible inaccuracies, I would certainly use this book for a quick reference to a biography that does well to summarize momentous events in a historical figure's life. In other words, in grades 8th through 12th grade, I would have my class focus more on the writing and less on the subject matter. Nonetheless, the subject matter can also be used as a launching point for students to form their own ideas about da Vinci's life, and they could possibly write shor stories or other fiction based on this nonfiction piece.
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LibraryThing member JenRobYoung
This contains a fascinating story of the life and work of Leonardo Da Vinci. The book talks about his origins and why he went into painting, his scientific research, relationships with royalty, religion and his life’s major accomplishments.
LibraryThing member amartin2787
Diane Stanely’s LEONARDO DA VINCI is a captivating biography about this very famous artist. The repetitive format of the book adds user-friendly style. The pronunciation guide located in the beginning of the text helps readers learn how to properly say names throughout the book. The use of
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illustrations along with actual pictures from da Vinci’s journals helps to illustrate the text on the pages. Stanely also includes a lot of the research she used to develop this story, so it would be very easy for a student to find out more information about Leonardo da Vinci if needed. Overall, this would be a good book to use in a third- to seventh-grade class. This book helps students learn about Leonardo da Vinci. It can also helps them learn about biographies. This biography is short enough for a student to not feel overwhelmed when the teacher assigns it, but it has enough details to be a very good read.
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LibraryThing member carolineW
This would be a good addition to a lesson on Western art history or a social studies lesson on the Renaissance. An easy read nicely illustrated with colorful paintings and artifacts from Da Vinci's journals, it brings the artist to life for young readers. It could be read to the class in a single
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class period and then discussed afterwards for a day's lesson, or assigned for homework and analyzed more in-depth over several days.
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LibraryThing member jsyoung
An interesting book and I learned many things I did not know before about Leonardo Da Vinci. The book uses great illustrations, and I think the author may have been paying homage to Davinci's talent as an artist. Stanley draws the reader in with the illustrations and I think this is the strong
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feature of the book. Her chronilogical approach keeps the reader flowing from one event to the next. I think this book effectively captures the attention of the reader even if it is not 100% accurate. I would recommend this book for students just learning about famous people from the rennaisance era.
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LibraryThing member kris0812
This biography on Leonardo da Vinci is very informative and provides ample detail about the artist and inventor's life. Though I would not necessarily use this book in my fourth grade classroom for a specified lesson, I would keep it in my classroom library for students to read on their own. During
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biography projects, I would also recommend to my higher level students if they chose da Vinci to research.
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LibraryThing member skane86
This book provided me an interesting viewpoint in regards to Leonardo Da Vinci. For example, I was not aware that Leonardo was the illegitimate son of a nobleman, and it was only his insatiable love of knowledge that allowed him to reach the upper echelons of society and academia. This work focuses
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on the life of the great Renaissance man, and provides a wonderful variety of facts and little known bits of information about him that make the work by Stanley move along smoothly. While this book was interesting and informative, I am not sure if I would use it in my own classroom. The images were cartoon like and slightly childish, and the prose was so basic that there is a chance that high school students would be offended at having to read it. If I were to use this book, I would use it as an ancillary text to modify and enhance the experience of reading a different anchor text that focuses on Leonardo Da Vinci.
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LibraryThing member rgwomack
Stanley paints the life of Leonard da Vinci is an excessible way. It follows his life from birth to death. Stanley follows the renaissance man as wanders from city to city, to project to project. Leonardo would begin at the bottom. He was an illegitimate child,but would ultimately create works that
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inspire the imagination over two hundred years later.

Leonardo bounced from project to project. Many he would never complete. Stanley draws him as a philosopher vagabond as moved around Italy trying to establish himself. He did only follow his works until they bored him. I think that Stanley captures this the book.

Leonardo bounces from patron to patron. A patron was integral to his pursuits. They would grant him the resources to create what they might like -- but Leonardo would create it in his own way.

Stanley uses a number quotes by Leonardo to frame her story around. I think one might make more use of his quotes and other to justify her presentation of Leonardo's life. The colorful illustrations show some of works, and the style of the pictures scream the renaissance. They mimic his oil paintings and set the mood for the book. He notebook pages should inspire young readers what can be created with little more the curiosity.
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LibraryThing member Wakana
This book told a great story of Leonardo Da Vinci's life. It starts at birth and takes us through to his death through relationships and great art. It is as detailed as can be expected for a book that is written for youths as an intended audience. This book would be a great resource as a
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book/artist project or as an introduction to Da Vinci's art as an art unit. There are pictures on every other page that help the reader to envision Da Vinci's life.
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LibraryThing member dscalia
LEONARDO DAVINCI tells the amazing life of Davinci. It tells interesting facts that students would find engaging. Explanations may need to be given for students to understand the situation. Stanley does an excellent job of tying in actual drawings and paintings from Davinci with her own
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illustrations. This insightful book helps readers to recognize the brilliance of Davinci and how he was far more than an artist.
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LibraryThing member JenniferSaville
Leonardo da Vinci chronicles the life of the great legend himself, providing an interesting and little-known look into his childhood and apprenticeship.

I thought this book was very interesting. As someone who has both taken Art History classes and visited da Vinci's birthplace in Italy, it was
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neat to see and read more about some of the things I was already familiar with in association with da Vinci's life.

1. Take a trip to an art museum to see some of da Vinci's work.
2. Let students mix their own oil paints and create their own masterpiece.
3. Have students research one of da Vinci's inventions and present it to the class.
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LibraryThing member burtmiller
B+ This is a wonderful biography book. The illustrations, I believe, really help and show readers who da Vinci was. His paintings and inventions are well done, and even comparing the front cover illustration, the Mona Lisa, and da Vinci’s sketch of himself is a great way of getting the
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readers/students more interested into even more art
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LibraryThing member Mimarler
A good book about the life and trials of Leonardo Da Vinci.


Original publication date


Physical description

48 p.; 10.94 inches


0688161553 / 9780688161552


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