I love Laurence Anholt and the way he introduces children to great artists. This book has a nice level of whimsy, and it touches upon Leonardo's genius in both engineering and art. It includes copies of real works, as well as Anholt's renditions of othe rworks. The characters are fun and provide children with something relatable. I used this book with preschoolers, and it was a hit because it was read in an animating voice and with stops for clarification ("Did you know that someone had to invent the airplane?"). You can't just read straight through if the audience is four-year-old. My six-year-old needs clarification, but likes the book even more than younger kids. I imagine it is perfect for 2nd-4th graders.
I teach a unit on artists to second-grade students. Leonardo and the Flying Boy help students relate to the artist who lived 500 years ago. This book combines fiction with two real boys who worked with Leonardo in his studio. While my students enjoyed this book, it doesn't have the charm and high interest of the Katie series of books by James Mayhew.
My introverted kindergarten age son randomly but excitedly started telling me ALL about Leonardo DaVinci at dinner and this book his teacher from enrichment had read to him (not even recently). So I had to ask his teacher what book it was because he wanted to own it and read it again and again with me. Book arrived super fast.
I can't say enough good about this series. It is a creative way to introduce kids to these artists. They are written to be kids stories and entertain while throwing in some information about who the artist is, to show the artists' general style and introduce some specific works by the artist. My daughter is 5. She soaks this stuff in. I think she would have been able to be as receptive to the stories at age 4 and maybe just earlier than that but it would have been pushing the envelope. I suspect she will enjoy the stories for another couple years.
It has lead us to google some of the actual artists' works. My daughter now wants to find some museums that have some of the pieces that are addressed in the books.
I would give this 10 stars if I could. You would be doing yourself and your children a favor by purchasing this! I learned more than what I thought I knew, and my 8 year old ate it up. I love that this book can connect with adults and children alike. A must buy for anyone wanting to expand their children's knowledge of an incredible painter!
I love this book. We originally got it from our library, but my 4 years old liked it so much we ended up buying it. It is a charming story, based on real facts: my son can relate well to the main characters, two children working in Leonardo's studio. I liked the fact that we get to know one of the greatest man that ever lived in a fun way. I also loved the illustrations, which incorporate real Leonardo's drawings and original illustrations. Finally, if you want to learn more about Leonardo and the facts the story was based on, there is a full page giving you more info. I would highly recommend this book for any preschool child.
My son (three) already has a great love of reading and history in part due to Anholt's series. Like all Anholt's work, Leonardo and the Flying Boy is an historical, entertaining, and exciting read. Anholt always chooses a specific story about his subject and provides a fuller biographical overview outside of the story's text at the end. This is a wonderful tool that helps keep wandering attention spans focused. The specific story in this case is Zoraste de Peretolo's "flight" from Mount Ceccero in one of Leonardo Da Vinci's many flying devices. Anholt manages to incorporate loads of interesting facts about Da Vinci while keeping the story (and child's focus) flowing. At our house, we are big fans.
All three of my children ages 7,4 and 3 along with myself loved this book along with his book on Monet. They spark an interest in the artist to take us into further study. It is taken off the shelf over and over again.
This is the second book in the series I have bought for my grandson. I love the idea of sparking imagination and creativity while teaching a little history in these fantastic storybooks! This one especially because Leonardo was so prolific is so many areas and imagined so many inventions before his time. I want to instill in my grandkids that they can invent and create too!
This book was surprisingly popular with some young nieces and nephews but even more so with university classes of Italian 101-104 students. Assigned to translate the story, they were young enough to enjoy the story and share it with children they knew in their own families.