From School Library Journal
Grade 2–5—Similar in format and style to Now & Ben
(Holt, 2006), this book focuses on sketches found in Leonardo's writings that reveal an understanding of inventions that would not come into being until hundreds of years after the death of this quintessential Renaissance man. Vivid watercolor illustrations depict more than a dozen, including the hang glider, contact lenses, the tank, and robots. Each facing page appears as a sheet of notes revealing Leonardo's version, which is usually quite similar to the one we know today. Each page of Leonardo's notes contains a few short lines printed in reverse, and an author's note explains how a mirror can be used to view this writing style used by the inventor himself. Barretta provides clear information without veering into scientific explanations. Readers who most closely associate Leonardo with the Mona Lisa will be inspired by the breadth of his interests and the genius of his observations. This accessible introduction will inspire children to look closely at the world around them and come up with some creations of their own.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO
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About the Author
Gene Barretta is the author and illustrator of Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin, and Dear Deer, which was a Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts and listed on the Parenting Magazine Mom-Tested Books of the Year List. He holds a B.F.A. in Film Studies from New York University, and has worked for many years in film and television production. He lives in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, with his wife and son.